The Top 6 Mistakes Coaches and Practitioners Make (And Their Solutions) Part 1
It is stunning how many coaches and practitioners are competent at what they do–yet struggle financially, mentally, and emotionally around their business. In fact, even though coaching is a $2 Billion business and growing, most coaches never make more than $25,000 per annum – and many end up doing it as a hobby or giving up and ceasing their contributions entirely.
There are reasons for this. I have identified the top 6 reasons–and their solutions-that I have found in my experience in my own business as well as observing those who still have a “practice”.
1. A Lack of Integral Thinking: “Money and Spirituality are in Conflict”
We were taught for thousands of years that to profit was bad—and there is a good reason for that. For thousands of years one had to pillage, conquer, enslave, and exploit to acquire wealth. While there was a time when one could only profit by exploitation and manipulation or by inheritance or plunder, this has not been accurate for well over a century. With the rise of the services industry, you can offer your deepest contribution to the world – your deepest gifts – and profit as a result of what you have given – not what you take.
The truth is, it is not only possible to come from service and contribution in a “for profit” environment–that is to live a purpose-filled life–but also to profit well from it and to live prosperously. It takes some personal work–being mindful of your thinking, cleaning out your unconscious imprints of guilt and shame, and parental imprints about money are usually a good start—to constantly be of service while building sufficient esteem for your self to recognize the value you are bringing to another’s life and to have them provide that value monetarily in exchange.
It also takes a lack of attachment to “closing that deal” and being more focused on service and “opening relationships”–and much more.
Actually, I have found what can be provided to our clients’ lives is priceless to them. Fees are insignificant when weighed against what the work we do in their lives will make possible. It is not a commodity. It is a gateway to greater freedom and happiness. We can live a spiritually oriented life—and integrate free-market, service-based principles into that.
By doing so, we integrate our spiritual and our financial life – and integration our culture desperately needs—and allows us to flourish spiritually while prospering financially.
2. Lack of Skill: Sales and Marketing
We have all had negative experience with sales people. Not sales professionals, but sales people—that is, people who want to “close a deal” rather than open a relationship. Most sales trainers teach techniques with little regard for a philosophical base or grounding. I do not support that.
I used to think sales was a dirty word – because I saw so many sales people doing icky things. That was until I realized that until I could influence people to take action in their lives I could never really do much good in the world. You can only be a positive agent for change if you can inspire others to move beyond their current thinking—the thinking that has them in their current life situation and has stopped them from being fully free and thriving; from having the life they desire and deserve.
Therefore—If you truly want to do good in the world, it becomes your duty—yes, your duty—to assist others in overcoming their limitations. That means learning to sell and market your services in a compelling way that comes from service and contribution while combining that with powerful tool of influence.
You must gain those skills if you want to make a difference and be prosperous.
While it may be hard to swallow at first [took me years to accept] you must be a sales professional first—that is you must be able to inspire your prospective clients toward their own expanded vision of their life and future—if you want to live your purpose and prosper. You must use a sales system that is in alignment with your holistic values, but use a sales system you must.
3. A Lack of Sustainable Structure: Service, Sustainability, and Packages
Once you are coming from service and contribution, you begin to consider what would best serve the client.
Most practitioners have session-by-session practices or monthly packages, but they do not have comprehensive packages that have stages and phases in them. How many people out there have dabbled here and dabbled there and never really bucked down and did the deep work to reveal greater depths within themselves? I have found most clients approach their personal development this way: “Well, I have tried this and I have tried that…but I never really got what I needed”.
Would you go to a chiropractor once – or for a month – and expect your posture to be transformed permanently? Of course not. Would you go to the gym and hire a physical trainer for one or two – or even a half dozen – sessions and expect your body to be transformed? Of course not. And yet we assume that when it comes to the context of change and transformation with the mind. We can affect profound change in just a session or two, sure, but the client’s entire life will not be changed or certainly not changed permanently. For that, we need stable context and continued work – at least 3 to 6 months. But we also have to create those packages so that they unfold in phases.
The best thing you can do as a coach or a practitioner is to find a way to create a compelling 3-stage or 3-phase offering that allows the client to reveal greater and greater depths or to attain greater and greater heights. For a massage therapist, this may mean something like: