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An open letter to self-appointed gurus and dot com coaches

In a group full of coaches, strategists and experts, the words that spring to mind for me are: Money hungry, insensitive, insincere, self-serving, self-aggrandizing and dime-dozen, as opposed to helpful, generous and fascinating.

It’s hard to be around large groups of coaches without fear you’ll be targeted like a mortal in a den of beautiful, website-wielding vampires.

Why is it that the coaching industry induces the same stomach turn as an overly eager MLM salesperson, but at the cost of a person’s sense of trust, self worth, safety and hundreds to thousands of dollars?

Not making good after hiring a high-profile coach or taking a high profile course leads to massive self shaming, bitterness and perhaps hatred, insulating the injured client from future positive experiences.

Coaches have become beautiful predators, to the point that it’s hard to even approach a potential client with a sincere desire to help. As soon as you get close enough you see the fang marks and smell the blood because they’ve already been fed upon. Others keep a steady supply of crosses, stakes and garlic on hand.

In the Army we were taught never to bring up a problem without proposing a solution. Here’s my proposal:

What if we planned a whole lot better before launching service-based businesses that we expect to support us to the tune of thousands?

What if we put more time into becoming actual one-of-a-kind experts in a way that is irrefutable, instead of putting our time into positioning ourselves as experts?

What if we connected the dots for our clients and told them up front exactly why we feel emotionally moved to share how our life story and experience directly touches theirs before we send the link describing our perfectly perfect packages?

What if we solicited unbiased reviews on blogs related to our so-called best selling book and shared links to those instead of flashing the “author” card like and FBI badge?

What if we described exactly what we mean when we say “Internationally known”?

What if we quantified hours and client volume when we say “expert”?

What if we cut all the bull crap, climbed off our self-made pedestals and got into the shite with our clients the way Consultants (that’s what we are, isn’t it? Despite all the lines we draw to prove otherwise) did in all the decades before a DSLR camera with a Sigma lens can make a teenager applying makeup in her bedroom an event worth thousands of people subscribing to.

Brand strategists, “thought leaders,” coaches, we can do better than this.

We’ve let ourselves down, become too eager and we are doing a disservice to our market.

We will drown in our own decadence, withering and fighting for the few remaining clients if we don’t begin to self-regulate.

We got into this business to be allies to our clients and each other. Let’s not lose sight of that amongst the mood boards and launch countdowns.

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