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 eyebrow
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”.
Here’s a chart taken from Google that shows the steep
climb since 2008…
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
Competition there is going to be fierce.
Is This The Death Of Life Coaching?
You may be wondering – “Is this the death of life
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
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…
The decline in search interest for life coaching is
even more alarming when you factor that the number of
people using the internet between 2004 and 2012 has
more than doubled during this time (817 million online
users in Dec 2004, 2.4 Billion users June 2012, Source
Internet World Stats)
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
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 2012
Global Coaching Report; the most popular coaching
specialization by successful coaching practices that
have been operating for more than 5 years, is business
Specifically leadership, executive and organisation
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
The Road Of Two Choices:
PreviouslyI outlined the first major roadblock – the
download trend for life coaching.
The graph below outlines the 1st roadblock and the
This is what I call the road of two choices.
On the left side you see the path that the majority of
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.
They 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
They specialize and figure out who they are best placed
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 next week 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
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
I’ll be talking more about this group in an upcoming
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
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 most
remedial 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
1. Conditioning The Right Mindset
i.e. knowing that outer success shows up with
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
3. The Business Of Their Business
i.e. developing the competencies in all the
key activities that make the cash register
Each business is different and High Performance
Coaches know that without growing this area of
their skill competency they won’t be in business
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.
Got a comment or question, post it below.