The priorities of the Coaching Industrial Complex

As I reflect on my first few years as a coach I recognize now how far off course I was pulled.

Just weeks after earning my first certification I invested thousands of dollars into B-School, an online business and marketing course run by Marie Foleo.

I remember at the time thinking that if I wanted to be a successful coach it was a path I had to go down – learning the ins and outs of how to show up and build a business online.

That decision set me on a journey that ended up lasting many years, costing thousands more dollars, investing my time, energy, and creativity into mastering all of these things I had come to believe were an essential part of being a coach.

I remember thinking to myself, “I just want to coach,” but that voice didn’t make me question the system I had been sucked into. I simply thought I needed to double down on all of these “essential” moving parts, even if it was sucking the soul out of me.

Reading The Prosperous Coach helped snapped me out of that fog, showing me that there was a different way to create relationships and conversations that could lead to coaching partnerships. Through it all, though, there was this deeply seated voice in my head just wishing I could “figure it out”.

I’ve come to see things much differently now. I recognize, in fact, that the industry I was sucked in by had no interest in the art of coaching.

In fact, what the CIC showed me, again and again, is that it priorities Everything BUT Coaching (EBC).

It’s my perspective now that Conversations are what we’re all ultimately after and worthy of our focus and practice, so I could just as easily call it Everything But Conversations.

Instead, the narrative of “coach” becomes about how quickly we can make money, amass followers, build a brand, create funnels, build businesses, and crush goals.

Where did the coaching go? When did it become so difficult to simply talk to someone, tell them what we do, ask them how they’re doin, and just listen with curiosity? The CIC has convinced us that relationship building is bound by and dependent on a series of steps, rules, frameworks, apps, techniques, tips and tricks.

Think about it — why do we spend so much time trying to build social media followers? So we can meet new people…who hopefully find us interesting enough to want to have a conversation with us.

What are we ultimately trying to do when we stress out about FB ads and how our website and copy are all aligned? Move people down a path that ends at a CONVERSATION.

Why not just start with having Conversations with people?

Why all the padding, the complications, the stress, the pressure to meet strangers in as distanced and impersonal way as possible? Why the need to design and package ourselves up like so many programs will teach us how to do …. to simply have a Conversation with someone?

Is talking about ourselves a practice? Yes. Is listening a practice? Yes. Is learning how to coach and discovering our own unique coaching style something that emerges out of a lot of practice? Yes yes yes.

This work takes time, just like any other artform an skillset.

But simply talking to and communicating with another human being? It’s right there at your fingertips. You’ve been talking to people all of your life.

Stop putting so much distance and chaos between you and connecting with another human. Find one person. Ask them how they’re doing. Stay curious and listen deeply. Notice what emerges.

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October 11, 2021

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As I reflect on my first few years as a coach I recognize now how far off course I was pulled. Just weeks after earning my first certification I invested thousands of dollars into B-School, an online business and marketing course run by Marie Foleo. I remember at the time thinking that if I wanted […]

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    Check out my notes to coaches for my spiky point of view on being a coach, rebelling against the coaching industrial complex, and carving our own unique paths through the coaching landscape.

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