School of Coaching Mastery

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Your Million-Dollar Coach Has Been Recalled By the Manufacturer

Posted by Julia Stewart

Million Dollar Coach

Yesteryday, Coach Maryam Webster shared some 'million dollar coaching for conscious business owners' on Facebook. Of course, what she really did, was warn the innocent away from a predatory type of 'coaching'. Her message included:

''Before buying into any six figure type training, ask to see the teacher's financials...Then run. Far away from cookie cutter trainings and teachers like this...Forget the 6 and 7 figure coach, author & speaker trainings. Those who make money their central theme are playing on your basic survival fears..."

Be sure to read the entire conversation on Maryam's Page (you may need to log in to Facebook, first) before you spend a dime on programs like these, because they are almost always scams...

As I said in my reply to Maryam, I've written on this topic a number of times. I shared several horror stories here. I wrote more recently on the meaninglessness of titles such as 'life coach', here. Do read these posts before working with a 'wealth coach', 'million-dollar coach', 'six-figure coach', 'seven-figure coach', or anybody who calls him/herself a 'coach'. You could save yourself thousands of dollars and years of heartache.

Some of these so-called 'coaches', gurus and teachers have been sued by the likes of the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Others have gone to prison. Their victims have been emotionally devastated, bankrupt, lost their homes, or even lost their lives.

It's a serious problem, but not an easy one to fix. Coaching has a reputation for being high-paid, but to my knowledge, it's still not regulated by any government in the world. Plus most people don't know what it is, except that it involves people talking to each other. That makes it the perfect get-rich-quick scheme for any sociopath who can talk. There are an awful lot of them out there.

Genuine coaches provide valuable services and are nearly always certified by reputable coaching schools and professional associations. They have testimonials from real people you can talk to. Their clients rave about them and you can find them online and research their reputations. Coaches who are certified by the ICF or IAC are usually a good bet. And I stand behind the coaches who are certified by School of Coaching Mastery.

So why's there a kitten in the picture, above? He's Josey, an abandoned formerly feral baby cat we found half-starved, terrified and awfully lonely. He was desperate enough to let some gigantic strange creatures take him in and feed him and now he's a delightful member of the household. Josey was lucky. Imagine what could have happened to him if a sociopath found him, instead of a family of animal lovers.

When you have a dream of building a 'conscious business', or of answering your calling, or even of becoming wealthy by sharing your brilliance with those who want or need it, you're as vulnerable, and often, as innocent as a kitten. You probably need help from someone who can help facilitate your dream, such as a good coach, but you and your dream can be destroyed by a greedy sociopath. Be careful who you share your dreams with!

Today, Gina Spadafori shared on Facebook that P&G has voluntarily recalled the type of kitten food I feed to Josey. It may be contaminated with salmonella. He was lucky again, because his chow was made in a different batch.

It got me thinking how great it would be if we could recall toxic 'coaches'. It would save a lot of innocent people from being preyed upon. And it would definitely improve the reputation of the coaching profession.

But fake coaches manufacture themselves. They remind me of Sturgeon's Law: 90% of anything is crap. That doesn't mean the top 10% isn't fantastic. In my opinion, million-dollar coaches occupy the bottom 10% of the crap pile.

There is no way to wipe them all out, but you can protect yourself. Stay out of free, or suspiciously low-fee, seminars and webinars. They are designed to get you to spend irrationally. Don't be swayed by money-back guarantees. They usually mean nothing.

Instead, work with certified coaches and get recommendations.

Maryam asked me online what we should do about this problem. I'd like to see a coordinated marketing campaign by coaches, coach-training schools and professional coaching associations that warns the public about unscrupulous coaching practices and how to hire a good coach. I'm not the person to organize this. Do you know someone who is?

If you care about people in general and the coaching profession specifically, please share this blog post or voice your own opinions online. You could save someone from making a horrible mistake.

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Topics: life coach, ICF, Business Coaches, IAC Certified Coach, certified coaches, coach training schools, Million Dollar Coach, teleclass, six-figure coaches, six-figure coaching business

Coaching Schools: Why Money-back Guarantees Are Bad

Posted by Julia Stewart

Pros & ConsEvery week, I talk to people who want to choose the right coaching school for them...

And of course, money is always an important concern. Recently, the topic of money-back guarantees came up in a couple of conversations.

A few coaching schools offer money-back guarantees and they're a bad deal for several reasons.

For starters, they give new coaches the illusion that they have nothing to lose and boy, is that not true!

Reason 1: The Opportunity Cost is Far Higher Than the Tuition

Months ago, a coach contacted me who was attending a coaching school that I used to teach for, which offered a money-back guarantee when he joined in 2003. After years of taking zillions of classes, he still doesn't  have a coaching business.  Now he realizes he's in the wrong coaching school, wants his money back and thinks SCM may be the answer. He'd been contacting the other school for months to get his money and so far, has just gotten a run around. He told me he'd join SCM as soon as he has his money back. He's still waiting.

Result? Most coaches can put together a professional coaching business within a year or less, with the right support (Yes, even in this economy). And a moderately successful coaching business can easily earn $50,000 per year. (Some coaches earn six figures, some coaches, a lot less.) So if this coach had been coaching full-time since 2004, making $50,000 per year for five years, he'd have made $250,000 by now.

Not only that, he'd be spending his days doing what he loves instead of putting in thousands of hours at a job he can't stand.

So for a "no-risk" investment of a few thousand dollars, he's cost himself hundreds of thousands and years of his life.  

Reason 2: No Risk No Reward 

As I said, I used to teach at the afore-mentioned school. With low tuition and a money-back guarantee, it grew quickly. There were some highly-talented coaching students there - and there were a bunch who probably should never have gone into coaching. With a low entry barrier, many people who had heard you could make big bucks as a coach had joined. Still others had lost their jobs in the last recession and joined that school because they wanted out of the rat race and thought they had nothing to lose. If we make starting a coaching business sound too easy and coach training, no-risk, people join without being sure they really want to become coaches.

Result? Lack of commitment. And unfortunately, lack of commitment usually leads to lack of success. (Ask any successful coach. We're in the business of success.) In addition, the coaches who don't belong are unhappy and their lack of success becomes an energy drain for the whole community. 

Reason 3: The School May Not (Be Able to) Return Your Money

The man who started that school was good for it and he was extraordinarily talented and completely sincere. However, he passed away suddenly of a heart attack, leaving the school to one of his colleagues.  By the time the estate lawyers were finished with it, the school's resources were depleted. And many of the students were unhappy with the change of command. They wanted their money back.

Result? Student requests for refunds went unanswered for months. Some gave up; some took legal action. No fun for anyone. 

Reason 4: You Don't Really Want Your Money Back

Nobody joins a coaching school hoping it won't work out and then they'll have to ask for their money back. What they want is to become a successful coach. If you sincerely want to become a successful coach, look for something better than a money-back guarantee. Look for a school whose students are succeeding. Not just an exceptional few, but the vast majority. That school will require you to put your "butt on the line" as my coach would say. They won't accept just anybody with a credit card. They'll check you out, to make sure you're serious about coaching, even while you're checking them. And they will guarantee value: Effective class material, the best instructors, a proven path to success.

Result? You get what you really want: A successful career as a coach. 

Reason 5: Getting what you pay for is way better than getting your money back. 

You want to get it right the first time, don't you? So, look for a school that guarantees the value you really want. That's a Value-Back Guarantee. 

You've probably guessed that SCM doesn't offer a money-back guarantee. But we do have a Value-Back Guarantee. What does that mean? If you put your own butt on the line by taking advantage of all the resources we provide and do your best to follow our instructions - and it doesn't  work out for you (Ex: You don't pass certification or you can't find clients) we won't offer you a refund, we'll bust OUR butts to give you what's missing (like, individual attention, new course material), because our job's not done until until you have everything you need to be successful. 

Our coaching students are building successful businesses. And not after years and years of stuggling. They're building coaching success in their very first year - even in this recession! 

 

Copyright, Julia Stewart, 2009 

Topics: coaching business, coaching school, become a coach, free coach training, coaching success, SCM, coaching schools, get certified, coach training program, six-figure coaches, money-back guarantee

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