School of Coaching Mastery

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10% of Coaching Schools Go Out of Business Every Year

Posted by Julia Stewart

coaching schoolsThe Sherpa Executive Coaching Summary, a large-scale annual survey on the state of executive, life and business coaching, was just released yesterday, with a startling statistic that 10% of all coaching schools worldwide go out of business every year - every year.

I've heard this statistic tossed about in reference to specific years, but now it's becoming an annual trend? This flies in the face of an old coaching myth, that the real money is in coach training, not coaching. That couldn't be further from the truth.

Why are coaching schools going out of business when the profession of coaching is still growing?

1. One theory is that there are too many coaching schools. As Donna Steinhorn mentioned in her recent The Truth About Coach Training post, 10-12 years ago, there were only a few coach training schools, but now there are well over 100 coaching schools, worldwide. Sherpa says there are actually over 300 coach training schools in the world. In fact, peer.ca, which tries to compile all the coach training schools worldwide, lists 508, as of today.

That means around 50 coaching schools will go out of business this year. Will one of them be yours?

2. Another theory is that many professional coaches, believing the myth that 'the real money is in coach training', started coaching schools when their businesses were challenged recently during Depression 2.0. If that's the case, I'm guessing most of them have/will go out of business, because it is actually much more expensive and time-consuming to run a quality coach training business than it is to run a coaching business.

Personally, I made more money per hour as 'just a coach' than I do running School of Coaching Mastery. Education, done well, is labor-intensive and labor is expensive.

Why do I do it? SCM is a labor of love for me. I have a vision of one million master coaches worldwide and I'm just getting started.

3. Another theory of why 10% of coach training schools go out of business, is that coach training has become a commodity. There is so much competition that schools are competing on price, rather that value. This was further supported by the incredibly high unemployment rates of the past few years, when people were desperately trying to start coaching businesses with little or no money.

When money is extremely tight, unlikely promises, such as the promise of one coaching school mentioned by Sherpa, that you can 'Become a Certified Professional Life Coach in Just 16 Hours' for $397 or $497, or whatever the price du jour is, become alluringly tempting. If such a school also brags about their 3000 successful graduates, you have to wonder about their criteria for 'success'. I've talked to quite a few 'graduates' of these 2-week wonders (because eventually they realize they need more training and contact me) and not one of them has told me they ever got a single paying client.

So in the race to the bottom, some schools, even the huge schools that were founded in the mid-nineties, have become less profitable. And if you're not in it for love, you'll get out if there's not much profit.

School of Coaching Mastery is about to turn five years old in March. We've weathered Depression 2.0 and our international Ultimate Coach Training coach-students are spreading their masterful coaching skills to thousands of grateful (paying) clients. 

I wouldn't close this coaching school for anything. I've got too much work to do to get those one million master coaches out there changing the world for the better.

What do you think? Do 10% of all coach training schools really go out of business each year? Why or why not? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section, below.

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Topics: Coaching, executive coaching, coach training, School of Coaching Mastery, free coach training, Business Coaches, Life Coaches, coach training schools, coaching schools, economic downturn

Career Coaching Spikes Says CNN Money

Posted by Julia Stewart

CNN Money LogoOn September 29th, CNNMoney wrote, "Should You Hire a Career Coach?"

In it, Christopher Metzler, associate dean for human resources studies at Georgetown University, says, "Any time there's an economic downturn, career coaching spikes,"

With job searches now averaging 25 weeks, it's no surprise that the out-of-work are looking for every competitive advantage they can find. And while career coaching is not cheap,  one session averages $161, it more than pays for itself, if you land a great job a few months earlier than you would have otherwise.

There are pitfalls, however. As the article points out, not everyone who calls him/herself a career coach is skilled or qualified to help you reach your goals. And the quality of coach certifications varies widely. Some coach certification training programs take only a weekend to complete, with every participant guaranteed a certificate just for showing up. (I recently spoke to a coach who completed one such program. She confirmed that it was "pretty much a joke.")

Two places you can find career coaches who have pledged their professionalism, are the coaching trade organizations, IAC and ICF. Each has a Find-a-Coach feature. You can also find career coaches at Mastery Coach Exchange, where you can easily connect with and find out about your coach, before trying them out.

Other coaching specialties that do especially well in economic downturns are business and corporate coaching, executive coaching, and money coaching, but even fields like life coaching do surprisingly well, especially now that there are lower-cost options.

Here's the full CNNMoney article on career coaching. Check out their sidebar for more interesting information about it.

Read the Coaching Commons article on the same subject here.

Topics: business coach, corporate coaching, executive coaching, Career, ICF, Coach Certification, Mastery Coach Exchange, Life Coaching, IAC, certified coach, economic downturn, FIND A COACH

Should You Become a Coach In an Economic Downturn?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Is it or isn't it? A recession, I mean? How many thousands of hours of airtime have "pundits" used up analyzing our economy and still we don't know if it's the Big R or not?

All that professional fretting can sure make a new business person nervous! And those of us who've been at it for a while are concerned, too. On the other hand, any time there is a shake up of any sort, new opportunities pop up. The fun of being in business is watching the landscape change and noticing the next big windows of opportunity before everyone else does.

A freaky economy brings plenty of opportunity. So call me perverse, but I'm having fun ;-)

It's a little bit different for a friend of mine, who owns an upscale home-building and design company. His business has definitely been impacted by the real estate/mortgage/credit crisis, although, as any high-quality company can, his is doing nicely compared to his lower-quality competitors.

By comparison, my business seems hardly to have noticed that people apparently are no longer spending like there's no tomorrow. Why? It's international. The weak US Dollar actually makes my services and products a bit of a bargain for my clients in say, the UK. They're paying half what they might have paid a few years ago. (Yay for them!)

In the past year, the percentage of non-US clients and customers in my business (coaching clients, live event participants and buyers of products) has at least doubled. They are filling in spaces that would have been taken by Americans, so it's a wash.

Well that's nice, but what does it mean to you if you're new to coaching? Here's my advice, based on what I observed during the last recession:

Between 2001-2003 there was a well documented recession and the number of coaches seemed to double. Why? Thomas Leonard's "low cost" coach training drove some of it, but a big reason was that thousands of people got laid off from their jobs and interpreted that as a sign that it was time for them to quit the corporate grind and become a coach. They got sold on the myth that anybody can be a professional coach. By 2005, there was quite a bit of pain and misery amongst these coaches and a lot of them dropped out.

The reasons why they quit are diverse, but a lot of them ran out of money before they built up their coaching businesses to a sustainable level. Some of them just weren't cut out to be entrepreneurs and never really "got" the mind set needed to run a small professional service business. And some of them weren't cut out for coaching; it wasn't nearly as easy as they expected.

I suspect that some of the coach-training companies preyed on all those out-of-work hopefuls and painted an overly rosy picture of their prospects, but I really don't know that for a fact.

I'm lucky I wasn't one of those miserable coaches, because I started my training in 2001. Why did I make it when others didn't? One very big reason is that I got in just ahead of the big surge. That meant I had mastered the coaching skills I needed to get and keep paying clients before the number of new coaches pouring into the market doubled. All those late comers had to struggle to get their coaching skills, personal development, sales & marketing (might as well call it S&M, if you don't know how to do it), and business & finance skills up to a level where they could compete at a time when there were way more coaches, but NOT way more clients. Ouch!

The lesson there is that if you're thinking of becoming a coach and you suspect there is going to be a recession, then get into it before mass layoffs send thousands more into the coaching business. In fact, it's smart to get your training while you still have a job that will pay the bills. Coaching is a big learning curve. You can't learn quickly if your worried about money most of the time. And desperate coaches scare away potential clients. (Double ouch.)

One more thing, you remember my friend with the high-quality construction company that's doing okay even though the construction business is terrible? When only a few sales are still being made, it's Quality that still sells.

What does that mean to you? 

1. If you're going to be a coach, be the coach with the best skills, who offers the most service. Then you needn't worry about the hoards of new coaches who may or may not flood the industry in coming months. You'll be the coach that clients from around the world will seek out and happily pay. Quality sells itself.

2. Be sure you have a source of additional income for the first few years, just in case you need it. It's much easier to sign on new clients when you don't need the money. (In other words, don't wait 'til you get laid off to get training and start your business.)

3. Find out if you really want to be a coach. If coaching is for you, then you'll be glad you learned everything you could about it, whether you become a successful coach-preneur or you use it in another profession. (Currently, there are at least twice as many coaches who call themselves managers, business owners, teachers, etc., as there are professional coaches.) Coaching skills enhance every profession (and offer job security). Coaching Groundwork was designed for people like you.

4. Don't be the tail of the dog. It's a lot easier to succeed if you get in before everyone and his cousin joins up. If you're thinking about getting coach training, now is the time to do it. (School of Coaching Mastery isn't for everyone, but we'll be happy to help you find out if it's right for you.)

5. Don't quit. If you do these first 4 Rules on Getting Into Coaching When the Economy is Funky, you odds of succeeding are extremely high. And if you love it, you'll have the time of your life!

Copyright, Julia Stewart, 2008
www.SchoolofCoachingMastery.com

Topics: School of Coaching Mastery, become a coach, Coaching Groundwork, economy, recession, economic downturn, want to be a coach

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