Before You Drink the Kool-Aid Read the Fine Print.

What made you decide to become a full time coach?

Good question.

I started my career as a solopreneur doing human resource consulting in 1999. It paid the bills but it wasn’t my passion. An experience I had with a client affected me so deeply that it sent me on a path to try to help other people the same traps.

I could say the shiny object syndrome and leave it there. But you know me. If there’s a sermon to be preached I’ll preach it.

One morning, I got a phone call that’s every consultants dream. Someone cold called me! Wanted to meet with me to talk about my helping his business! He’s been around for a few years and needed some help. If I could meet the next morning, we’d ink a deal and get started.

Lesson #1: Anything too good to be true, usually is!

I was on cloud nine. (Maybe even ten, eleven or twelve.) I was so excited that I even got up early, prepared my sales pitch and drank a lotta tea. I was ready to rock and roll!

When we sat down to talk he shoved two binders in front of me each with a DVD in each of them.

Take these and watch them and tell me what you think.

It seems he’d attended a convention and one of the company’s in the resource mart was running a special on business development. Did I say for a limited time only?

Wanna know what else?

This program worked for everyone regardless of industry. It was endorsed by experts and if you purchased it right there, on the spot, (I imagined this big X taped on the floor) they’d knock 50% off of the price.

Wanna know what else?

They’d be there holding your hand and cheering you on each step of the way. From 800 miles away. Think the year 2000. No Zoom, limited internet and email.

When he told me what he’d paid for the program I almost fell off of my chair. (Mostly from envy!)

Annnnnnnnd…………….. He didnt have a whole lotta money left to pay me. Could I take the program he had and make it work.

Uhm, no.

Lesson #2: There’s no business like your business!

Contrary to popular belief and the experts, your business is as unique as your DNA.

Yeah, but John there are a million life coaches out there. We all do the same thing.

Not really.

Lemme put it this way. There are millions of people with red hair and freckles and while you may share that with them you’re not exactly alike. Think about it for a few seconds. There’s a red head with freckles that may stand out to you. – Just one, not the millions that exist in the world. That’s who you remember when you think about red heads with freckles.

That’s the secret of entrepreneurial success, to stand out. To get brand recognition. Call it what you will.

I think we get it bassackwards. Everybody and their ancestors starts with what type of advice?

Anyone, anyone?

I’ll tell you. They start with, wait for it, Your Ideal Customer

Every seminar, webinar, YouTube video and comic book I’ve ever read begins with YOUR Ideal Customer. You may see a market for those folks and you may be 1000% correct but if the process you use to cultivate them and ultimately make a sales proposition to them with doesn’t reflect their values and beliefs you’ll walk away without a sale.

That’s why you’re in the marketplace right? To make money – Dinero, dough-ray-me, etc. If money’s not your end game then I’d suggest you join a monastery. You’re not an entrepreneur. You’re a do-gooder and we need do-gooders, don’t get me wrong.

You put your personal imprint on what you do and people follow you, build a relationship with you and ultimately buy from you because your message and your way of communicating that message resonates with them.

We’re all saying the same thing. We’re all red heads with freckles. Each of us puts our unique spin on things.

Lesson #3: Embrace the Fifth Agreement.

You’re familiar with the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, right?

  • Be impeccable with your word
  • Don’t take anything personally
  • Don’t make assumptions
  • Always do your best

Did you know he added a Fifth Agreement a little bit later.

  • Be skeptical, but learn to listen

Online marketing isn’t any different than face-to-face marketing. I’m gonna convince you that I have something you don’t have or something you really need so you can sit at the cool kids lunch table. There is an exception. You may never meet me or know me or have lunch with me. You’re operating on faith. Your faith is cultivated by folks known as copy writers who get paid a kings ransom to keep you on the hook. They are experts at parsing language together in a way that by the time they hit you with a call to action you’re running around your office yelling “Yes, yes, yes!! Give it to me!!! I need it!!!”

And we buy it. And sometimes we pay a whole bunch of money to buy it and when we get it, it’s not what we expected.

Now, the people who sold it to us mostly know we aren’t going to admit to buying on impulse. We’d be too embarrassed to let the rest of the world know we’re just like them. So we take the program, stick it in a folder in the cloud and sit around for a few days telling ourselves how damned stupid we are.

  • Be impeccable with your word
  • Don’t take anything personally
  • Don’t make assumptions
  • Always do your best

Did you know he added a Fifth Agreement a little bit later.

  • Be skeptical, but learn to listen

Online marketing isn’t any different than face-to-face marketing. I’m gonna convince you that I have something you don’t have or something you really need so you can sit at the cool kids lunch table. There is an exception. You may never meet me or know me or have lunch with me. You’re operating on faith. Your faith is cultivated by folks known as copy writers who get paid a kings ransom to keep you on the hook. They are experts at parsing language together in a way that by the time they hit you with a call to action you’re running around your office yelling “Yes, yes, yes!! Give it to me!!! I need it!!!”

And we buy it. And sometimes we pay a whole bunch of money to buy it and when we get it, it’s not what we expected.

Now, the people who sold it to us mostly know we aren’t going to admit to buying on impulse. We’d be too embarrassed to let the rest of the world know we’re just like them. So we take the program, stick it in a folder in the cloud and sit around for a few days telling ourselves how damned stupid we are.

Some of us spend a whole bunch of money doing this dont we?

The Fifth Agreement? It tells us to be skeptical but to listen. Know what you’re buying. Its not the glitz and glitter. It’s stuff you really need to advance your business.

Despite all of hyperbole you are a business owner and your chief task is to make decisions that have a positive influence on your business. If you are out chasing butterflies it’s not going to happen.

And…………….. you don’t have to be a newbie to fall into this trap.

I have dozens of times until I began taking my own advice.

Yes, I know it’s hard for you to believe that I fell prey to the shiny object syndrome. I did. More than once, until I learned that the money I’d spent getting nothing in return could have either been banked for a future investments or spent more wisely elsewhere.

I’m lucky. I survived. I know so many who didn’t.

Okay, that’s all for now. Next week, I’m gonna give you five things you can do to give you a clearer picture of what you want to buy.

See ya

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