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The Biggest Shift In Coaching Today… (That No One Is Talking About)

In my last post I shared the alarming trend news from Google that shows search interest for life coaching has is down by 60% over the past eight years while number of new coaches is up 58%.

Numbers like these should raise more than an eye brow when you factor this next fact…

Searches for “Life Coaching Jobs” are up by 400%. In fact searches for “life coaching jobs” is now the fastest growing search term worldwide under the category of “life coaching”.

Oh. That’s not great news.

And it’s not the kind of chart you’ll find at a life coaching weekend course.

It’s clear that the market is sogged with struggling life coaches who are desperately trying to find life coaching jobs.

Competition there is going to be fierce.

Is This The Death Of Life Coaching?

You may be wondering – “Is this the death of life coaching?”

Honestly, I don’t think so. The field is changing and transforming and those left behind will suffer.

Zooming out for a moment to the larger trends – Coaching is now the second fast growing profession in the world according to Newsweek. So the field itself is going strong.

However that’s the supply side, not the demand side.

On the demand side, we know that search interest for life coaching is way down and heading south…

My opinion is there are easier ways to build the coaching business of your dreams.

Just not as a life coach.

The BIGGEST Shift Is Happening Now

I believe that the biggest shift in life coaching is already well underway. In fact it’s speeding up.

The shift from old school remedial coaching to professional performance coaching, also known as high performance coaching.

High Performance Coaches are coaches who specialize in working with people who are already doing well, to help them perform even better.

And the facts back this up.

According to the International Coaching Federation Global Coaching Report; the most popular coaching specialization by successful coaching practices that have been operating for more than 5 years, is business coaching.

Specifically leadership, executive and organisation coaching.

Life coaching doesn’t get a look in.

Coaching businesses that thrive and grow aren’t generalists; they specialize.So should you.

But here’s the trick… you need to specialize in a form of coaching where there is a genuine demand for it.

The Road Of Two Choices:

Previously I outlined the first major roadblock – the download trend for life coaching.

The graph below outlines the 1st roadblock and the solution.


This is what I call the road of two choices.

On the left side you see the path that the majority of coaches take.

Unaware of the download trend and drinking from the“life coaching course kool-aid” they set up their practice doing the same as everyone else.

And too often end up like Rob (my lawyer friend turned wannabe coach), struggling and spending time and money on all the wrong things.

The smart coach chooses the alternative path.

The successful coach targets the right (meaning the lucrative) side of the coaching market.

Life coaching was never the lucrative side – (unless you are on the training delivery side…).

Successful coaches know that not everyone is their customer and they don’t try to be all things to all people.

They specialize and figure out who they are best placed to serve.

They choose clients who are most interested in increasing their performance.

And because they help them get better results – they can charge much more.

In fact high performing – performance focused coaches can and do charge several hundred to thousands of pounds per coaching session.

As you’ll learn some charge as much as £10,000 (over $20,000) per coaching session.

And they get hired and have long list of clients.

Are they tens or hundreds of times better than regular life coaches?

Not at all.

They just setup conditions so success becomes easier for them (and their clients).

They’ve consciously chosen NOT to play the “life coach”race to the bottom game.

They’ve learnt the key skills used by high performance coaches and focused on how to get their business off the ground.

Roadblock #2: The Employee Mindset

So let’s address the second biggest roadblock I’ve seen to building a successful coaching practice.

This is universal roadblock to just about any entrepreneurial practice – having an employee mindset.

The employee mindset will kill your coaching business.

The equation as an employee goes something like this:

“I show up for work, I do my work and expect to get paid in return.”

Time “on the job” = hours worked and money earned.

Even if those hours lead no significant tangible results for the organisation, as an employee you expect to get paid.

The focus as an employee is typically on doing what you’ve been asked to do.

Nothing more.

This works well when you are an employee.

But in business you don’t get paid for effort – you only get paid for creating value for others.

This is a much more demanding bar to live by.

This requires a shift in mindset from working to ‘a clock’, to working to create value and drive results.

The issue of employee mindset is further compounded because as an employee you are used to being part of a team and having a relatively limited scope of objectives.

As a business owner – the scope of activities you are responsible for is vast.

And is the skills needed to do them.

Much more than any one employee will typically have.

Therefore many new coaches buckle under the weight of handing so many competing demands and only focus on what they know.

Changing Gears – Becoming A High Performance Coach

Looking at the trend lines, it’s fair to say mostremedial coaches have a hard time.

And few courses teach you anything about how to start-up and build a successful practice.

A high performance coach understands that they need to focus on improving their own performance as much as they do with their clients.

They focus on developing their skills in 3 core areas….

1. Conditioning The Right Mindset i.e. knowing that outer success shows up when they condition their brain and nervous system to have the right mindset to win in business and excel as a high performance coach.

2. Developing Their Coaching Skills i.e. going far beyond remedial coaching to mastering the skills of high performing coaches so they can create “wow” results for your clients and generate lots of referral business.

3. The Business Of Their Business i.e. developing the competencies in all the key activities that make the cash register ring.

Each business is different and High Performance Coaches know that without growing this area of their skill competency they won’t be in business for long.

OK, that’s it for today.

This post was longer than usual but I hope you’ll agree if you begin to take up the ideas shared they can save you a lot of time, heartache and pain, while enabling you to have the kind of success you want.

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I'm Tom.

Everyone has something they’d like to change in their life. I’m here to help you transform the behaviours that get in your way so you can have the life you really want.


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