There’s a topic that’s been bothering me for weeks now. I know better that to hammer out posts that are a knee-jerk reaction…I’ve done that before only to regret it. But, recently I heard about a new trend that’s happening in the coaching world and at first I was appalled. Appalled I tell you. But, I kept my trap shut and waited to simmer down until I wrote about it. Funny thing— when I lay my head down at night I kept thinking about it. The simmering down never happened. And I’m still appalled, mystified, and simply shocked that this is happening.
Let me paint a picture for you…a hypothetical, pretend picture. Let’s say your girlfriend is single and dating. She tells you about the newest guy she’s been seeing. They’ve been talking and emailing and went out on one date and that she really, really likes him. He’s funny, kind, good-looking, he’s got a good job, all that great guy stuff. She’s thinking he might be a guy she wants to date seriously. She tells you she asked him an important question before she could decide if she wanted to commit…
She says she asked him how big his dick was.
And she tells you he replied, and that it just wasn’t as big as she wanted it to be. So, she politely told him it wasn’t going to work out and was done with him.
Oh. My. God.
Now, I don’t know about you…but if one of my friends did this, I’d be like, “Umm…that’s kind of an asshole move.” I don’t know. Maybe that’s really important to some people, but in my opinion, that’s just shitty. I mean, she’s not even going to give it a chance?
So, back to the topic I’m all mad about (did you really think it was about dicks?). Now, this hasn’t happened to me, but to three different colleagues of mine recently. It goes like this:
Life Coach A gets an email from Life Coach B. LC B asks LC A if they would like be a part of a tele-summit, or some other type of common joint venture. (If you’re into self-help, you know they’re everywhere). So, LC B says things like, “I love your energy, you’d be so great for this audience, we love what you represent and your message!” and all that nice stuff. LC A says, “YEAH! Awesome, I’d love to! Send me more info!” And sometimes they get on the phone and chat and have all that great life-coachy stuff that happens when two self-helpers collide. Several emails are exchanged at this point.
Then comes the big question: Life Coach B asks Life Coach A how big her email list is. Probably somewhat confused, LC A answers. And if it’s not the size that LC B wants, she tells LC A something along the lines of, “Oh, sorry! The business model I’m using for this project requires a list size of X. Hopefully we can work together another time! 🙂 ”
What. The. Fuck.
You guys. Now, I get that if you’re putting on a giant project like a tele-summit you want it out to the masses. You want to sell out your class. Trust me, I’ve done them and I know how much work (and money) goes into these things. And you need to pay your bills just like the next life coach. I get that we are in the business of sales and marketing and every year there are more and more life coaches out there that are trying their best to make a living at it.
But… this is crap.
Here’s really what I have a problem with. It’s the romancing before all the details are given. If you want to do this business model and feel good and proud of it, in my humble opinion, it’s much nicer to be transparent from the beginning and say, “Hey! I love your vibe. I’m doing a tele-summit soon and I’m gathering up really awesome life coaches with a list of X or more. Does your subscriber list look like this and are you interested?” That is honest and to the point. And saves everyone time, energy, and more.
This business is about building relationships. Not just building relationships with your audience and your people, but equally as important, building relationships with other coaches. This is a fast way to ruin a relationship right from the very start.
And for the love of pete—we are LIFE COACHES! I could see this happening in the realtor world (no offense, realtors) or some other business of sales, but life coaches? Really? Isn’t everything we stand for surrounded by kindness, compassion, helping others, and other feel-good stuff like that? What happened to wanting to do projects with others because we love their message, their vibe, and what they stand for? I assume that as a life coach, what’s important is how you live your life. And being proud of that. And I also assume no one would put conditions like that on their personal relationships like with family and friends. Yes, you want them to share many of the same values you do. And you probably set healthy boundaries. But, I for one just couldn’t be proud of how I’m conducting my business by creating a project where I only work with people that have a large number of subscribers, let alone going about asking in that way.
And don’t we encourage BEING ENOUGH? In my eyes, this practice completely contradicts that. “Ooooh, sorry, your internet dick just isn’t big enough for me. Better luck next time. Excuse me while I try to find someone bigger and better than you.”
Gross. Ew. Stop it.
And the fact that coaches are calling it a “business model”. Girl, please. It’s an Asshole Business Model. That’s what it is.
First of all, it’s none of your business how big anyone’s lists is. Second, all the coaches I know and respect love the people on their list and would not want to “whore” their list out to someone who cares just about the numbers.
I don’t have any words of wisdom here except obviously that I don’t think this is a smart business model. Sure, you may get a shit-ton of subscribers on your tele-summit. Good for you. But, by and large, think about all the bridges you’re burning in the meantime. It’s a small world out there, people talk, and this industry is getting larger every day.
All I ask is to be transparent from the beginning. On the first date. No, before the first date. In the first email. Authenticity is what we are all about. Let’s practice it to our audience and our colleagues.