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What's Really Behind the Huge Success of Professional Coaching?

Posted by Julia Stewart

love_is_more_powerful_than_greed.jpgToday I turned down a potential client whose business would have brought me thousands of dollars. She seemed a like a good client, with clearly defined goals to build her coaching business, which is a coaching specialty of mine.

But there was one big problem: Her goals were simply to make more money.

And her requirements were that her mentor coach must  have made a certain amount of money, which I've made, but I still turned her down.

Why did I turn her down, when helping coaches succeed is one of my specialties? Because I went into coaching and coach training to help people succeed at creating a better future for themselves and others, a better world, if you will.

Money matters. Helping others matters more to me. That's because one of my highest values is: Love.

The funny thing is that coaches who love what they do and love helping others to have better lives and careers, are the coaches who most succeed at professional coaching.

And they often make the most money.

Because the professional coaches, who are most likely to succeed, want to thrive by helping others thrive.

They're not martyrs. And they're also not greedy. They're more complex than that.

Probably only 5-10% of people, worldwide, who are interested in becoming coaches, have achieved this level of complexity.

Have you achieved this level of complexity?

If you're interested in coaching only because you've heard it's one of the highest paid professions in the world, don't train at School of Coaching Mastery.

And if you're only interested in helping others, instead of also helping yourself and the people you most care about, then coach for a hobby and make a living doing something else.

I wrote a blog post about this, The Top Ten Worst Reasons to Become a Coach, nine years ago, and it is as true today as it ever was.

If you want to thrive and help thrive doing what you love, let's talk.

School of Coaching Mastery's training programs may be perfect for you. And my mentor coaching often includes training, as needed, at no extra charge. It's expensive and well worth it.


I'm in the thrive and help thrive business.


By the way, if you love someone or something so much that you'd change the world for them, World Clan Mothers on Facebook may also be right for you. It's about turning back the tide of Climate Change so our grandchildren, and Nature, have a chance to thrive like we do. I invite you to join and get involved.


Visit World Clan Mothers on Facebook

Topics: professional coach, Coaching, professional coaching, coaching success, successful business

Coaching Businesses Benefit from 2013 U.S. Business Trends

Posted by Julia Stewart

Written by Julia Stewart

MyCorporation just shared an excellent infographic based on research they did, along with Pepperdine University, that shows wonderful trends for coaching businesses. This was not a study of coaching businesses specifically, but of business, in general. 

Here are some highlights:

  1. 54% of businesses that grew in 2013, were "micro-sized". In other words, tiny businesses, such as coaching businesses, grew the most.
  2. One of the fastest growing sectors included "professional services". In other words, businesses such as coaching businesses.
  3. The "Khan Academy Effect" is driving a revolution in education, with tutoring expected to grow into a $100Billion business in 2014. As you may know, many tutors use coaching skills and many coaches do tutoring. In fact, Khan Academy doesn't call it tutoring; it calls it coaching.
  4. One of the few dark spots in this infographic is that apparently it was harder for businesses to get loans in 2013 than it was in 2012. Since coaching is one of the least expensive businesses to launch, that's not a problem for coaching businesses. Scroll to the bottom to learn more about becoming a successful coach.

MyCorporation - U.S.-Business-Trends Infographic

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Topics: coaching business, coach training, become a coach, successful business, coaching businesses

The Future of Coaching: 2013 Trends in Business and Life Coaching

Posted by Julia Stewart

If you think you understand trends in business andfuture of life coaching life coaching, you're probably dead wrong.

Why? Because the future of humanity is about to change at even more breathtaking rates. That means the future of coaching is not what you think. Not even close.

How's that? We're about to reach a technological 'tipping point' across several technologies and this runaway world we live in is about get a million times faster. 

You've heard of Moore's Law? It's the well-established prediction that computing power will double every 18 months, while prices plummit. In other words, exponential growth. Moore's Law has held true for decades. The current result is an iPhone processor that's more powerful than the 1970's Apollo rockets that travelled to the Moon. (which makes Apple's recent map app blunder seem especially silly)

If you were to graph exponential growth, you'd get what's known as a 'hockey stick' curve. At first you get a relatively long period of slow growth, with a slight incline, but at some point the numbers that are doubling become so huge that the curve goes virtually vertical. That's the tipping point or 'escape velocity' that we've just about reached with computing power.

Moore's Law is what futurists call a hard trend. It's a prediction that you can count on. Some futurists say that Moore's Law can be applied to other technologies as well, such as nanotech and artificial intelligence, and that when you combine these technologies, as they are doing at Singularity University, you get even more explosive growth and more escape velocity.

What does all this tech mean to coaches, other than the possibility that someday, Skype will stop bumping us off our free international video calls? Well if you consider Adizes' Change Constant (Change leads to problems, which lead to solutions, which lead to more change, etc.), our potential clients are about to have a lot more problems. They're mostly the kind of problems you want to have, as we say, but they still will feel like big problems to them. And that's when they hire coaches. But wait, before you cheer...

What kinds or problems are caused by explosive growth in the tech fields? Well first there are new jobs created, like IT professionals, website designers and virtual assistants; jobs most people couldn't conceive of 50 years ago. And then there is the elimination of jobs that are replaced by technology, like librarians, sign painters and secretaries. Painful! Except, every time technology replaces some jobs, it creates new ones, such as international tech support, robot repair, and home-based manufacturing. That's a cycle you can count on. New high-paid jobs are always on the horizon, only most people can't even conceive of them, much less get ready. That's scary.

Let's face it, our ancestors evolved back when exponential change equaled the invention of the wheel, the bow and arrow and roasted mastadon instead of raw. Those changes occured at the slow-sloping left side of the hockey stick curve and that's what your nervous system today is wired for, not change at the rate of a new job every year. Jeez.

People are going to need assistance in making constant life-changing transitions, the kinds our grandparents only made once or twice in a lifetime. Maybe we'll need more psychotherapists to talk us down off the ledge, but in this month's Wired magazine, Founding Editor, Kevin Kelly says robots will soon replace therapists. I don't know about that, but he also says nurses, teachers, personal trainers, waiters and surgeons will soon be robotic. The jobs will go to the people who manage the bots.

The best-paying jobs will go to those who can leverage the added value that technology is constantly creating. Beyond that, we can spend our time doing what we want.

So what's the one job Kevin Kelly says robots can't replace? The job of deciding what people really want to do. 

Coaches help people decide what they really want to do.

Coaching is not a tech job, but technology creates the need for coaches. And it's creating more of that need all the time for coaches who are ready.

Can coaches be replaced by artificial intelligence? We're a long way from that, because coaching relies at least as much on 'right brain' intuitive skills, which have been a challenge to the computing field so far, as it does on linear processing skills. But they'll probably crack intuition, eventually.

However, no amount of AI will ever make robots human. You could program 3CPO to say, 'I believe in you', but those words ring hollow unless you hear them from someone whose opinion matters to you.

Coaching will likely be with us for several more decades, or at least until Siri gets programed to ask more than she tells.

What else is about to change? Everything from the demise of our current too-slow, too-expensive, too-ineffective system of higher education (watch this video of new Google University for what might be next); to the rise of the 'bottom billion' as a result of cheap smart phones that now connect impoverished people to unlimited information, to vertical farming that can scale up to feed 10 billion of us. To get a more complete picture, I highly recommend you read Abundance by venture capitalist and X Prize founder Peter Diamandis.

How can you get ready to coach in the coming decades? 

Surprisingly, you don't need to chase every trend. And you don't need to coach huge numbers of people for less. Because the rise of technologies means there is also a trend at the other side of the spectrum. It's the one that leverages Kevin Kelly's 1000 True Fans concept and focuses on hyper-customization and hyper-personalization.

Chris Brogan calls this the 'bespoke business'. This is the type of business most successful coaches have. It includes just a few clients who each pay a hefty fee. It usually also includes some lower-priced options and free content in order to build relationships and true fans. This type of business is on the rise and looks like it's here to stay.

More people will need and want coaching in the coming future. Less expensive goods and services provided by automation will free up money. And with the coming need to prepare for new professions every year, the savvy will use that money to hire tutors, mentors and coaches to help them get where they need to go faster.

What's a good strategy for a coach moving forward into the super-high-tech world of the future? Become the best - perhaps the only - in your specialty. Get just the training you need, be nimble and ready to pivot when things change dramatically, have your own coach and take super great care of yourself - you'll need it.

And have fun. Technology is designed to free us from drudgery. Coaching is the perfect profession for enjoying that freedom.

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Topics: business coach, Coaching, coach training, iPhone, future of coaching, successful business, Life Coaching, life coach training, Kevin Kelly

The Great Coaching Pyramid and Your Success

Posted by Julia Stewart

Folks say I'm brilliant for coming up with this, but really I'm just observant: The old Marketing Funnel (AKA Product Funnel) doesn't work that well for most coaches unless they flip it over.

marketing funnel The Marketing Funnel sounds so logical that I tried it out as soon as I heard of it, several years ago.

Result? Hardly anybody bought my lower priced products, but because I focused on products instead of one-to-one coaching, I got FEWER clients! Not only that, but the lower-priced products were a lot of work to create and I needed to invest in a virtual assistant and a shopping cart, which weren't cheap. 

Most real coaches that I know have the same experience. I say 'real' because some folks do quite well with this business model, such as successful internet marketers, authors and speakers, who can afford to hire teams of consultants and assistants. They can make this work. Sometimes those people also call themselves coaches.

If you're primarily a coach, without a team or a big budget and especially if you're new to sales and marketing, it's actually much easier to go straight to high-paying coaching clients and skip all the work it takes to fill your funnel.

PYRAMID Because the funnel approach takes so much time, work and money to create, it felt kind of like building the Great Pyramids. Instead of a funnel, which sounds like it will just pull clients to you via gravity or suction or whatever, it's more like pushing bolders up a steep incline for slave wages.

So I flipped the funnel over and turned it into the Great Coaching Pyramid. It's so much more effective for real coaches like me. If you're a real coach and what you want to do is coach, then go straight to the top of the Great Coaching Pyramid and you'll experience success faster.


The Great Coaching Pyramid

If you love to coach, fill your coaching practice with one-to-one clients first, add products later, if you want. This way, you're doing what you love and that's really attractive. You don't need a huge investment or team to make it happen. Each client pays you well, so you make a living with 10-20 clients instead of 10,000 to 20,000.

I kept my shopping cart and assistant and some products. Because I found that my one-to-one coaching clients were interested in buying my other products and services, as well.

If you're a real coach, most of your income should come from coaching, right? And you can make a much better income by focusing on coaching, itself.



Great income pyramid People will hire you without sampling all your products. Why? Because you're a good coach. You get that way by doing a lot of coaching, not by creating websites and products.

Here's a secret: Marketing Funnels are NOT triangular. A great company that teaches about marketing funnels and is honest and upfront about it is Hubspot. They have a team of very smart professional marketers. They're much better at it than you and I. I've seen screen shots of Hubspot's marketing funnel, based on their marketing data. It necks down to almost nothing after the very first level. That means they need to reach tens of thousands of people just to get a few clients.

Here are a few numbers about that: Fantastic marketers are happy to convert 5-10% at each level of their funnel. Not so great marketers are lucky to convert 1-2%. At a 2% conversion rate, you'd have to attract 2.5 Million free customers to get 20 high-paying coaching clients. Or you can build your business with coaching.



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Topics: coaching business, Coaching, make a living as a coach, successful business

Urban Coaching Myth: You Need to Find Your Niche

Posted by Julia Stewart

Urban Coaching MythsYou'll never find success wandering down blind alleys.

That's what Urban Coaching Myths are: blind alleys for you and your coaching business. Coaches beware!

This particular coaching myth is so insidious and so routinely embraced, that it has probably hamstrung dozens (if not thousands) of coaching businesses. What a crime!

It's sourced in half-understood truths about marketing, a failure to make important distinctions, hearsay and just plain bad coaching. I may get hate mail for saying this, but somebody needs to tell the truth!

The myth, "You need to know your coaching niche before you can market your coaching business", is a lie!

How do I know this? I've experienced it myself and I've coaching zillions of coaches who have been stumped by this bad advice.

For example, Chris Barrow, "The Million Dollar Coach" built his million-dollar grossing coaching business by specializing in coaching dentists in the UK. He didn't know that dentists were his niche until he had coached a lot of them, realized that he had become an expert on building a thriving dental practice in the UK (previously he knew nothing about dentistry), and noticed that dentists were referring a lot of friends to him. Then he started making a million dollars a year. That's a real niche. Anything else is just play acting.

Trying to find your niche before you've coached a lot of people is really just putting the cart ahead of the horse. It's a waste of time and energy because the truth is...

  1. You need to coach a lot of people, first, in order to find your niche.
  2. You can build a successful coaching business even without knowing your niche. 

Which do you really want, a coaching niche or a successful coaching business?

Where does this myth come from? Here's an assortment of possibilities:
  • Internet marketing "gurus"
  • Marketing courses
  • Inexperienced mentor coaches
  • Buddy coaches
  • Coaching listserves
  • Coaching chapters

It's the old "they say" circuit that's been a source of misinformation of all kinds since the dawning of human communication. None of the above is bad in and of itself. Used well, all are very good. However, ineffective advice never helped anybody.

And those distinctions I mentioned? I've placed a few them in a quick quiz to help you distinguish whether you really need a niche in order to coach, or whether you need to coach before you'll ever find your real niche.

Quick Quiz

1. Are you:

a) A professional coach

b) An internet marketer

2. Do you want to sell:

a) Your coaching services

b) "Widgets" and digital products

3. Do you want to focus on:

a) Building a long-term profitable coaching business

b) Making a quick killing selling a product

4. Are you:

a) Someone who is smart and sensible

b) Someone who believes everything you hear


If you answered mostly "b", you need a niche to succeed. If you answered mostly "a", you need to coach in order to succeed. (Okay, maybe question #4 was unfair.)

If I sound a bit cranky, it's because this myth is very costly to coaches and their potential clients. Don't be blinded by it. If you're going to wander down dark alleys, at least carry a flashlight.

AsteriskGet a flashlight: Take Coach 100 courses to learn a lot more about what it really takes to build a successful coaching business.

Topics: coaching business, become a coach, Coach 100, Coaching 100, coaching success, successful business, Million Dollar Coach, coaching niche


Posted by Julia Stewart

This is a problem that can be so painful, that coaches don't like to talk about it.


Fancy term for, "You don't have enough money to make it."

What it looks like is a slow-motion train wreck, at least if you have enough experience to recognize it. That is, if you don't have a big blind spot in the area of money.

I see this all the time in new coaches. I even see it in big coaching organizations. I've gotten good at recognizing it.

Sometimes our dreams are so big, that we shoot for the moon when we don't have enough money to make it across town. 

Of course, a big dream can move you forward, right? Right and wrong. Right, if you're open to how it's going to show up. Wrong if you're so attached to it that you make poor choices.

Poor choices happen to coaches who are short on operating funds, often because they are struggling to make money this month just to cover expenses. When you're scrambling to make ends meet, that's when you make dumb choices. 

To have a successful business, you need to make long-range plans. Not just a fantasy or even a vision, but step by step plans. The plan will change, of course, because the horizon will change and hopefully you're keeping an eye on that, but if your plan is just to raise enough money to get you through until success miraculously finds you, then it'll never find you, because what you're really focused on is just getting by. Know any coaches like that?

We create what we focus on. Make sure you have enough money that you don't need to worry about it, while you're building your business. Keep the focus on the abundance that you're creating, not the scarcity of living hand to mouth. This requires a certain comfort with risk, by the way. If you don't have that, then building your own business may not be the right game for you.

If you don't have a couple hundred thousand dollars to fall back on during the first few years of building your coaching business, then don't quit your day job. Or else, get a part-time job that will help you. Or borrow the money. Don't try to make it on a shoe string. That's just asking for stuckness.

The first year of my coaching business, I spent about $10,000 on coach training, conferences, mentoring, and upgrading my office. Some of it was out-of-pocket. Some went on credit cards. I earned less than $2,000 by coaching that year. I supported myself with another business that didn't require all my time. My first financial goal was to be earning as much per month by coaching as I was spending on coaching. It took over a year to get there.

Then my goal became earning enough to "pay back" everything I had spent on coaching, up to that point. It took a couple of years to do that.

Now my goal is to easily pay all my expenses while saving and investing at least 25% of what I make each year from coaching.

If I hadn't had a good income and available credit, I couldn't have become a coach. It's that simple. Miracles do happen, but as my pastor says, "We are the answer to our own prayers." If you're not willing to make a substantial financial investment in your own coaching success, then maybe you don't really believe in it.

When you have true faith, you don't try to control. You can afford to let success show up how it wants to. Having enough money, as well as other resources, like time, is why you can afford to have faith. That's when miracles find you.

When I hear coaches complain about how expensive coach training and mentoring is, I know they're trying to control. I also know that they probably won't make it, unless they learn to allow the world to just show up as it is and find a way to fit with that. That's when you're ready to "leverage everything" and that's when miracles happen.

Copyright, Julia Stewart, 2005

Topics: coaching business, Coaching, money, coach training, successful business, new coaches, mentoring

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