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Dear Life Coach: Clarity isn't a product.

I'm a strategist. I used to be a coach. I got so sick of my own b. s. that I fired myself and went in search of a business model that made sense.

Oh I know,

"Coaching is a fast growing and lucrative profession!"

No the heck it's not. Most coaches make less than the manager at the McDonalds down the street. 

Here's what the coaching industry is: A few real professionals, and lots and lots and lots and lots and LOTS of wannabes and people trying to get their feet under them while they wait for those 6-figure years to start. Only they never do.

There are people, good people, smart people, whose entire product line consists of one thing: "I'll help you get clarity on what's holding you back in life so you can (insert inspiring thing here, crush it, kill it, live your dreams, soar, find fulfillment, win your dream relationship, and other such things that no one has ever been able to promise you before.)" Lucky you - now there's life coaching. Now you really CAN be a real boy, Pinocchio!

Full disclaimer, I do clarity calls too. I call them Here to There Fast calls and they are very effective. But I cheat. I don't just pop into a session and using my intuition and the power of strong questions to create clarity. I use the skills I learned as a Military Intelligence Analyst to create an entire work up on every client as if I were going to evaluate them as a potential business partner. If it can be known in an hour's time I know it. I do my homework to say the least. Which is why I can offer 15 or 30 minute sessions that actually WORK. 

Guess how much of that I learned in coaching school? Maybe 5%

It took me well over a decade and an h - e - double hockey sticks of a lot of work to be able to do what I do, do it well and do it fast. Make no mistake, I'm good at what I do. But that's one session. One fee. When I feel like offering it. I don't have an entire BUSINESS that's built on getting people clarity.

You know who wins in the clarity market?

Coaches who got wise and decided to make their money teaching other coaches how to peddle clarity. Attending coach-training programs often comes with a large dose of repeated re-enforcement - "You're in a great place! You're going to enable to help so many people!"

Thousands of people a year buy into the idea that they can help others get clarity, quit their jobs and live on revenues generated by people lining up to be liberated from the crushing burden of - well, what would you say the opposite of clarity is? Confusion? Blocked-ness? Stuck-ness?

How do people decide to hire a coach?

When you're feeling blocked, confused or stuck, do you immediately start listing off life coaches you know and make plans to call them? Unless you ARE a life coach or a life coach wannabe, you probably don't KNOW any life coaches besides Tony Robbins. You probably DON'T think, problem + life coach = Clarity = Dancing rainbow freedom ponies. You probably grab the next drink, smoke the next cigarette, or watch the next episode of Game of Thrones. You probably quite literally have at least one dedicated spot in your home where you wallow, revel and bask in BEING stuck. You probably talk about it. Do you THEN Google search, "clarity," and find a list of life coaches? NO. You Google your problem. "Ways to make my job suck less," or, "How to make my business profitable." (If you are literally Googling the search string, "How to crush it in business," do not speak to me. Ever.)

So where does the life coach come in? They don't.

Life coaching of the type taught in most online schools is as easy to sell as the products from that network-marketing-thing you expected to make bank on until you ran out of friends and coworkers to annoy and networking meetings to not be taken seriously at.

You cannot build a sustainable business around, "creating clarity".

No matter how many weeks you stretch it out over, no matter how great your web copy, glamour shots, squeeze pages and social media ads are, clarity isn't a product. 

People simply do not have a burning perceived need for clarity in their lives such that they will repeatedly pay you thousands of dollars to have it. YOU however, have a burning desire to help people GET said clarity because now you know how to do it and you can see a million applications for it and you see all the happy people who'll be dancing in the streets after you set them free. (Right after you fill your available client slots, right?)

Never in the history of EVER has there been a sustainable market for people to simply take x number of weeks of online training, practice on x number of classmates, then watch their cash cow come rolling home to the dairy.

If all you have is a coaching certificate (or more than one, like I do) your roots simply don't go deep enough into the profession to turn over major profits in a short time.  For everyone who's told you that you're an expert if you DECIDE you're an expert, ask them if they'd be willing to divulge how much profit they've cleared in the past year.

Here's what you CAN do:

  • Make clarity an appetizer, not the whole darn meal. I highly encourage you to learn to create outstanding clarity sessions, it really does feel great helping people. They feel great, you feel great, everybody wins, but have that be a PEICE of the puzzle. In my 12 week online entrepreneur boot camp we spend an entire week on clarity, but it's not a series of formless, open-ended sessions. We spend time using actual assessment tools and creating benchmarks and milestones to measure - more like on boarding at a technical firm. If your clarity sessions are clearly building toward something, or if they are a stand-alone one-time offer, you may have an easier time landing interested clients.

 

  • Lean into your existing skill set, experience and professional network to create something that's ACTUALLY unique.  There are a LOT of life coaches. Just like there are a lot of college graduates. We know that having great grades and a professional resume isn't enough to land a dream job, so let's assume that being able to deliver clarity isn't enough to land a boatload of clients.

The process for standing out as a new coach is the same as getting picked up for a j-o-b as a  new college grad: Stand out by deliberately creating, aggregating and connecting. I need you to get this into your bloodstream:

What will make you successful and unique as a coach is not what you're doing now, but what you did one or more decades ago.

(I know, I know, some high-success-mindset-manifestation-money-wonderment coaches are 25 years old. It still applies.)

Your job is to connect the dots - who ARE you, as evidenced by your consistent actions over at least one decade, and what do you have to show for it? THAT'S where you'll find the marketable commodity beyond clarity.

  • Lastly you can make clarity a selling point for YOU not your clients. Meaning you can dedicate yourself to amassing a number of client facing hours with Clarity as the context to hone and sharpen your coaching skills, if coaching is what you plan to hang you hat on.

Just a thought, in passing. Statistically, less than 20 percent of coaches, JUST coach, and of those, a full time income not many make.

If coaching, for you, is about financial freedom, sticking it to the man, quitting the 9-5 or being your own boss, you'd better be prepared to spend hours upon hours upon hours taking names, developing leads, proposing, pitching and closing huge numbers of prospects to squeeze out the ones who'll pay you. And you better get a product that's a whole lot more tangible and marketable than clarity.

If that knowledge rubs you the wrong way, or sends you deep into an existential quandary - feel free to call your life coach, while cradling your well-worn copy of Think and Grow Rich.

If you've got a thing or two to say to me about the value of marketing clarity for clarity's sake - jump on my calendar at Tatells.com/talk. I promise I'm not anti-coach, I'm anti fantasy world. We've got Pokemon Go, now. That's all the fantasy world crossover we can handle at one time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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