Good golly, now I know what it is that I’m missing. I’ve just had a lightbulb moment. Check it out. I need to watch this webinar that’s just appeared on my newsfeed about “how to attract more high ticket clients”, yes this will tell me what I need to do, so much more than that last one I watched about the same thing…..and the one before that, and the one before that, and the one before that.
Because *this* one is THE one. It promises to show me a secret formula to tripling my business in a month, it promises to tell me what I’ve been doing wrong alllllll this time and WHY I am not a multi-billionaire #hashtag laptop-beach-blessed entrepreneur yet.
It PROMISES to tell me alllll the secrets! I just need to invest this ginormous sum of money to find out what those secrets are! And then I’ll be able to double that ‘investment’ I made because I’ll then sell that info on to someone else after, and then they will double theirs, and then they will double theirs…
Hum? What? Oh man, no way. This is in no way similar to the scams of the MLM ‘nutrition’ variety, no way, it’s different. Totally different.
15 years ago personal training as a career was only just on the rise, it certainly wasn’t a path that was seen as common, or easy, because most people still associated personal trainers as ex-army instructors who just trained rich celebrities. It’s great that it has evolved so much. But off the back of it becoming so saturated, things have started to implode.
Five years ago if I was speaking to someone who was talking about becoming a coach (or an instructor as it should be called for at least the first two years of a trainer’s career) I’d whoop for joy and respond with nothing but encouragement and helpful hints on where to start. These days though my reaction to someone who is telling me “I am going to quit my job and become a coach!” is entirely different. It’s met with more of a sigh, a raise of an eyebrow and a question back to them that asks “why?”, this is usually answered with “I just want to help people!” which is great, because truthfully we all got into this industry to help people. So what is my problem? Why do I dash these young un’s hopes with my less than enthusiastic reaction? Well, there are two reasons.
The first is that I just feel that the health and fitness industry doesn’t need any more ‘noise’, it’s already full to the rafters of coaches who all think they know the ‘best’ way to health. There are hundreds of thousands of them out there with more falling off the production line every single day, all fighting in the pit trying to be heard over everyone else. Constantly trying to come up with ways in which to make their voice unique, often meaning that things get elaborated or – even worse – fabricated just to get their voice herd above the waves. It has become seen as some kind of fast tracked route to becoming a world wide inspiration, internet starlet and social-media-famous, and to experience anything less as a coach results in you being made to feel as though you are failing at life.
The turnover of personal trainers at commercial gyms is astonishing, very rare do you see one stick in one location for more than six months. Because they quickly get disillusioned by the job as they are forced to ‘walk the floor’ and sell themselves in order to find new clients, whilst having to plough through twenty sessions in a week before they even start to begin turning any kind of profit. It’s crap. Yes. But it’s called “honing your craft”. Working with Mavis who just wants to improve her fitness a bit by using the recumbent bike is a whole lot less glamourous that the trendy Insta-famous performance coaches would have you believe is the new industry norm.
And now…..we now have a new wave of industry ‘noise’ that is taking the coaching industry by storm. Introducing to you the new kid on the block; the coach *slash* entrepreneur.
With daily webinars launching all over Facebook promising you the secret of how to attract ‘high ticket’ clients, how to make six figure months into the new norm or learn how a new eCourse is all you need to up-level your mediocre business into a fortune 500.
Every other post on my newsfeed is trying to convince you that you need to grab this highly valuable ‘opportunity to invest’ NOW, and by forking out a vast sum of money you will then be able to pick up the creme de la crème of clients who will then clamber over themselves to pay you vast sums of money.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the PRESSURE dome.
I think it’s fab that we are living in a time when it has never been a more acceptable time to want to follow your dreams. These days it seems that everyone is trying to find their passion. And it looks to be the fitness industry that is encouraging most of it. I don’t know if it was the whole ‘fitspiration’ movement that started it but it seems that everyone who has ever been a personal trainer now wants – and expects – to become a world rocking, seven figure making entrepreneur overnight, and wants to help YOU to do the same.
There are gazillions of adverts appearing on Facebook every day that promise to help you secure multiple passive income streams, triple your business in six months, make six figures a month and become part of all the hype. It plays on our FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) something rotton, “but what if they DO know something that I don’t? I will just do this last one to make sure..”
These days I embrace FOMO and am able to turn it into the JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out), I love standing on the outskirts just doing my thing without that constant fear nagging at me to follow the crowd. Everything that I’ve been successful at has been because I followed my gut and spoke my truth, even it it meant standing up and walking in the opposite direction of everyone else.
I have a positive relationship with money, I like it, it’s enables us to do cool stuff and have fun experiences. But what I don’t have a positive relationship with is the resulting insinuations that a coach in this industry whom isn’t earning a small fortune every month is doing something wrong, and more so, that it’s easy-peasy for every coach to achieve. The vast pots of money that get talked about from this side of the industry is nearly always in the area of ‘coaches coaching coaches’, very rarely have I seen examples where a six figure coach has made that six figure income off the back of actually working with personal training clients or even nutrition coaching with normal, everyday clients.
There are a few exceptions. There are some people who have become extraordinary successful off the back of them being a fantastic coach, and quite rightly too, they should reap that success of being so good at what they do. Just as there is in ANY industry, there are always handfuls of hugely successful examples. But for every one of these there are gazillions of folks who are just being lead up the garden path by being taught that all they need to do is to learn a new sales strategy. The people who make up the exceptions to the rule did so because of who they are.
I’m convinced that one day in the future we’ll see that the majority of coaches trying to target their services to other coaches, who will then just sell their services to coaches, who will then just sell their services to coaches, who will then only ever use what they learnt to serve other coaches……
There seems to be something missing. Hmm.
Oh, I know. Clients.
We will have an extraordinary amount of ‘high ticket’ coaches out there, all thrashing about in the vast ocean of the fitness industry trying to get to the maybe 3 or 4% of clients who are actually prepared to spend the bulk of their salary on hiring a coach. Those who spend the money, those who do purchase the ‘high ticket’ options tend to be coaches themselves, hence why the ‘coaches coaching coaches’ is such a successful cycle. WHY? Because every coach out there is falling prey to the temptation of wanting the same kind of results as the nutritional “quick fixes” we slag off so much, the ‘success stories’ that are everywhere about how “Shirley went from making £3 a week to £300,000 a day in just 5 DAYS using my secret formula” are akin to the before and after ‘shocking weight loss’ images from Herbalife adverts.
Hear me when I say this, I am the first person to be on your side if you say that you want to follow your dreams, live your passion or go forth and change the world, I am a total advocate of reaching for the stars. Heck, I do!! But at the same time I can’t help be worried that with this trend of ‘high ticket’ entrepreneurship side of coaching we are setting more and more people up for yet MORE opportunities to fail, by encouraging it so readily and as if it’s openly available for all it is resulting in coaches spending more time trying to sell than coaching. Leading so heavily with the dream of this opportunity to earn mega bucks I feel is just a bad idea for the industry itself and for the people coming into it.
Although I know some may disagree, chances are that you won’t be able to create an income to rival Tony Robbins if you aren’t one of the best in the field at what you do. To insinuate to every single coach that earning £10,000 a month is the industry norm more often deflates than inspires once it becomes clear that isn’t going to be as easy as suggested. More often than not the months or even years spent focusing on earning anywhere near that income without first having something of that value to sell (i.e unbelievably good) will only result in exhaustion, disappointment and increased debt as you keep ‘investing’ in these new, sparkly programmes promising to tell you what you are doing wrong and why people aren’t buying from you.
It’s a vicious circle, one I have once been trapped in myself along with many others I know in the industry.
If I talk to a new coach in the industry and they have asked me what I would recommend they do to help their business progress, I’ve always said by far and away the main thing to focus on is YOU improving what you do. Find something you like, a specific area, a niche, and then get show-stoppingly good at it. Or, as Cal Newport suggests, get so good at what you do that they simply can’t ignore you. Enjoy the journey of actually doing the job and mastering the art of what it is that you want people to buy. Then you can stomp about and command all the five figure gigs and high ticket prices you want and chances are at that point you won’t need a funky new coach to help you figure out how to get people to pay you for it, they just will.
Peace out friends,