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Why I'm Quitting Compass Coaching

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 At the start of 2009, I joined the Compass Coaching Team as an "Affiliate Partner".

Compass had an unique business model, at least for coaching. It's a multi-level marketing company (Think: Mary Kay for Life Coaching). When I first learned about it, I thought multi-level marketing was a terrible idea for coaching. But a lot of good coaches were involved and at least one, who is a client of mine, was having a ball building her business with Compass, so I became intrigued that Compass might serve as a 'missing link', if you will, that some coaches may need in order to learn about business, marketing and sales. It also gives clients who may not be ready for a one-on-one coaching commitment a chance to dabble with coaching and experience what a life changer it can be - and then trade up to the 'real thing' when they're ready.

In short, I decided to get involved and because I have a large 'reach' (data base + social media), I joined for free.

Compass Coaching was pitched to me as a 'super affiliate' opportunity, which said to me, 'leverage your reach and integrate with your current marketing (mostly online)', but otherwise make Compass Coaching a low impact, relatively passive source of income.

Win-win-win, right? Share it with coaches who can benefit by building their businesses, change more clients' lives, and increase my own income.

Well, I have to admit, I'm a bit disappointed.

But, if you're waiting for me to drop a bomb or share a big scandal about Compass Coaching, there really isn't one. Over time, I found that Compass just didn't inspire me. Worse yet, my monthly checks hadn't grown in an entire year, even though I helped bring in quite a few new clients, coaches and reps. It  wasn't worth my time and I have other projects that are much more fun and interesting.

Just to be clear, I'm not saying that life coaches shouldn't join Compass. It's a reputable company and I'm not sorry I experimented with it. If you don't experiment, you don't learn. If you're interested in group coaching and learning how to build your business via seminars and live networking, Compass Coaching may be a fit for you.

However, I believe most people go into life coaching in order to do one-to-one coaching, which isn't what Compass is about. The Coach 100 approach is actually much more effective, simpler and less time consuming than Compass and it's easier to make more money faster with it - and do it on your own terms. Coaching businesses need solid income to survive and thrive and most coaches want to start making money sooner, rather then later.

So call me biased, but Coach 100 is still the best way for most life and business coaches to building a full coaching practice, usually in under a year. Learn more about Coach 100 by downloading the free ebook, below. 

[UPDATE: In June 2012, announced it would no longer be a multi-level marketing company for life coaching. It was unclear where the company would head next.]

[UPDATE: In January 2013, announced to its stake holders that it was filing for bankruptcy.]

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I've thought about using Compass but was unsure how it would help my business and organize me. I'm not so sure I want to be involved with a marketing pyramid business. That's one pressure I don't need.
Posted @ Monday, January 04, 2010 1:41 PM by Kathy Jo Slusher-Haas
Well, I wouldn't call Compass a pyramid scheme. Those are illegal. But it is multi-level marketing, which is not for everybody.  
You know, some pressures, such as the right goal or commitment, will actually help you build your business. The only way to know which work best for you is to experiment.
Posted @ Monday, January 04, 2010 1:50 PM by Julia Stewart
Lots of people make a great living doing MLM, IF they take it on full-time and give it their all. Some even find fulfillment in those businesses.  
The problem with almost all MLM's is they make it sound like you can spend a few hours of your spare time working on it and you'll be wildly successful. We all know that is unlikely. Growing any business takes focus, hard work, and determination, but most of it it has to put you squarely in your brilliance, if it doesn't there will be a breakdown, way before there is a breakthrough.  
Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with MLM's, What I do have a problem with is people starting and attempting to grow a business that does not put their brilliance squarely in the forefront. In any business model doing so is, at a minimum, a recipe for mediocrity.
Posted @ Monday, January 04, 2010 3:16 PM by Mattison Grey
LOVE it: 'it has to put you squarely in your brilliance, if it doesn't there will be a breakdown, way before there is a breakthrough.' 
It's so true. And I know some coaches are in their brilliance when they get involved with Compass. 
That's one of the many reasons that each coach needs to learn or at least adapt their own process for success. Using someone else's 'proven method' like it's a cookie cutter, just won't work.
Posted @ Monday, January 04, 2010 9:16 PM by Julia Stewart
I'm disappointed that my brilliant coach, Julia Stewart, did not find Compass a good fit for her. From the bottom of my heart, I hoped it would turn out different. Her decision made me quite sad as it was another path for us to work together. I was really looking forward to seeing us both thrive in the Compass home I've built for myself. 
At the same time, I completely understand and honor Julia's decision. Her passion is the School of Coaching Mastery. That is where she must keep her primary focus. Anyone who knows Julia recognizes she has many other projects, and Compass just was not fun enough for her to continue. I appreciate that she stepped in and played for awhile! Some wonderful coaches are now part of my team because of her involvement. 
Unlike Julia, I am someone who knew Compass was a perfect fit for me from the first moment I heard about it from our CEO Kim Fulcher. Happily, I was correct and I'm thriving in my Compass business. My focus as a coach was never going to be working with individuals as I am a group-oriented person. I enjoy being surrounded by like-minded people who are perfectly suited to work with me. 
Happily, Kristi's Krew has grown! As CEO of my own organization, I'm now leading more than 60 Compass Representatives to their own versions of success. We're blazing new trails by combining professional coaching, network marketing, social media, and personal development, exciting new territory to be exploring. I absolutely LOVE sharing Compass! 
Julia is one of my biggest supporters. Having her as my coach while I've taken off with my Compass business has been quite a joy ride for both of us. 
Julia is correct; Compass isn't for everyone. However, if it is for you, I bet you'll know. 
I'm happy to share my experiences with anyone who is even a wee bit curious. 
Kristi Arndt, PhD, IAC-CC 
Compass Presidential Ambassador, Coach Council Member & Founding Team Coach
Posted @ Saturday, January 09, 2010 12:20 PM by Kristi Arndt
Well said, Kristi! You're thriving with Compass!
Posted @ Saturday, January 09, 2010 12:47 PM by Julia Stewart
Just came across this blog by chance and was surprised at the end of this post. In the beginning it read like an advertisement for compass and actually (including comments and blog content) the word compass is used far more often than coach 100. 
I haven't come across neither of them but also negative comments on a product are marketing... 
Wishing you all success and fun with your products and services, whatever way you are chosing to market them. 
Aline, Points of You - The Coaching Game 
Posted @ Wednesday, January 13, 2010 12:33 PM by Aline
Hi Aline - Thanks for your comment. This blog is more about informing coaches and people curious about coaching than it is about advertising. The main story here is about Compass, but Coach 100 is an alternative for one-to-one coaches that our readers need to know about.
Posted @ Wednesday, January 13, 2010 12:49 PM by Julia Stewart
I value Julie's perspective on Compass and have had an entirely different experience. I have been involved with Compass since the beginning. I was initally drawn to it after feeling isolated by working alone. Network marketing was new for me but I saw the brilliance in the business model as well as the opportunity with others while still working for myself. I also saw other opportunties inherent with Compass. Since joining I have been grateful for Compass every day... both for what it brings to me and what I'm able to offer the world. 
Coaches have different desires... some prefer one on one coaching and some prefer group. I personally like the mix. What I value the most about the Compass programs are their high value for a low cost; that I have different price points to offer my clients; and that I don't have to create the programs myself. Effective and efficient! 
From a business standpoint it's been a great complement to my coaching business. My Compass income has consistently grown for two plus year and now surpasses my private coaching income. I have a strong organization of nearly 800 people. I've also earned some great perks, including a beautiful Mercedes after only a year of business building. 
The opportunities to impact clients and myself are much broader through Compass and with less effort. It fits so nicely with Andrea Lee's Multiple Streams of Coaching Income model. I'm sorry Julia didn't find it inspiring, but I respect that we're all different. I'm inspired every day by Compass!
Posted @ Wednesday, July 28, 2010 3:27 PM by Nancy Grant
Thanks for giving another perspective, Nancy ~ You're a great example of how every coach needs a unique approach to building his/her coaching business. Compass isn't for me, but I know some coaches love it ~
Posted @ Wednesday, July 28, 2010 3:52 PM by Julia Stewart
I love that I can have BOTH Coach 100 and Compass in my life :) I've been blessed by each approach. I use Julia's program for training and becoming an awesome coach, while I use Compass for marketing, great community support while building my "business" and an affordable resource for my coaching clients.
Posted @ Tuesday, August 24, 2010 3:20 PM by Jeanne Mills
Thanks Jeanne - I'm glad you're taking two approaches and combining and customizing them for your own business. As I bet you've noticed, there are no get-rich-quick systems in coaching. Building your business is a marathon, not a sprint. As an inbound marketer, Compass wasn't a fit for me, but it might be for others.
Posted @ Tuesday, August 24, 2010 4:09 PM by Julia Stewart
I was invited to join Compass last year. I thought the idea was fabulous and more useful than most other MLM's in terms of product. Unfortunately, I did not have the reach you have and would have had to pay for the privelege. I was just too busy to make Compass a priority - coaching, teaching, networking, writing. I was interested in growing a group coaching business at the time so it was with sadness that I turned down the opportunity. I am happy to hear that it is a worthy endeavor for anyone who can put their time and effort into it as I am usually leary of MLM's in general. 
Honest blog, great stuff. 
Posted @ Monday, January 10, 2011 9:55 PM by Dolores DeGiacomo
Thanks DD - Some coaches really enjoy Compass, but it seems you need to make it your full-time job.
Posted @ Monday, January 10, 2011 10:08 PM by Julia Stewart
I was referred to Compass by a Compass coach who thoroughly enjoyed the programs and support they had to offer. I signed up to "take a look around" and I have to admit I was a little confused. Although I'm not a coach, I am a virtual assistant who support life & health/wellness coaches, I wanted to see if there was another tool I could offer my clients to help them grow and support their practice. I have to say that I was a little disappointed too, however, I have not removed that option off of the table to offer to my clients. 
What I have found to be most effective for coaches who are looking to build and grow their business, is to start a product funnel. This will allow you to build "tiers" within your business at various price points and still engage clients to work with you. You can generate additional income, build your contact list, and work with your ideal clients on a one/one or group basis. My coaches seem to enjoy creating new products (ezines, ebooks, webinars, seminars, retreats, etc.) and structuring their business the why they want to. 
I think it's important for a coach to design their business to best fit themselves and not to have the standard "cookie cutter" model. It's hard to be excited about your business or your goals if they are not unique to you. 
I enjoyed the conversation and look forward to more input. 
Posted @ Monday, January 31, 2011 12:23 PM by Jay Black
Thanks Jay - There are a lot of business models that work for coaches. Whatever one uses, the model has to be compelling and make sense to the coach.
Posted @ Monday, January 31, 2011 12:28 PM by Julia Stewart
Thanks Sandra - As noted above, some coaches enjoy the mult-level marketing approach. Others detest it. From what I understand, MLM only really works if you make it your primary business. In other words, it's a full-time job.  
I don't know if things have changed at Compass, but it was pitched to me as something I could easily do on the side and enjoy good profits. That was definitely not the case. 
Even with a large mailing list, an excellent background in marketing, and a real effort at making it work, my income from Compass was always tiny. 
Most of my monthly checks were around $25. The two biggest were barely over $100. The payouts were not trending upward, even though my downline and sales were steadily growing.  
I have colleagues who also dropped out of Compass who had the same experience. 
My opinion is, if you want to make multi-level marketing your career, Compass is great. If you want to be a successful one-to-one coach, there are much better ways to do it.
Posted @ Sunday, April 03, 2011 11:59 AM by Julia Stewart
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