Why I stopped listening to most coaches and influencers
I don’t know about you, but I follow a whole bunch of life coaches, leaders, authors and influencers online. I used to stay up to date with their work, read their books, buy their courses and join their Facebook groups. When I first discovered these inspiring and successful people, I got really excited. I saw them living their best lives and teaching others how to do the same. But nowadays, I don’t pay too much attention to most of them anymore. I’ll explain why in this article.
I should start out by saying that I think there are amazing coaches and industry leaders out there who really are helping a lot of people. At the moment I’m in an online ‘mastermind’ with 30+ other online business women, created by a coach and expert in her field. I myself am also starting do some coaching through Rise with Kindness. But what I won’t do, and please call me out on this if you feel like I am doing this in the future, is sell you a lie. Sell you the idea of becoming rich/famous/a completely new version of yourself overnight just by buying some course or e-book.
“Follow me, I’ll make you rich”
What I see a lot of coaches and influencers sell are basically get-rich-quick schemes. How often have you read some sales page claiming more or less the following: “Do you want to quit your boring 9-5 job and make money while you sleep? I’ll show you how to get there within just 1 month, just buy my course!”. And I have to admit, I fell for it. Multiple times. I won’t name any names, but I’ve bought some courses promising me lots of success, happiness and abundance if I’d only follow their advice. But after doing a couple of these courses, I noticed they’re all quite similar. They all focus on the Law of Attraction (which I do believe in), reversing limiting beliefs and working with affirmations. Basically stuff I was already doing, but with some personal tips & tricks added to the mix.
Unfortunately, I am still pretty much in the same place financially as I was before all these “abundance” courses. Luckily, I also learned a thing or two. Some advice really resonated with me and gave me the confidence to quit a business which I had outgrown, but was too afraid to quit. So in a way, after doing various courses for the past year, I do feel happier. But not richer, more successful or famous – I don’t think I’m young, skinny or captivating enough for that 😉 (I see a lot of young, beautiful women living in LA doing this kind of work, but the reality is that most of us are just not that lucky and will need to bring something else to the table to make it).
Almost every coach is now teaching others how to become a coach
The other thing I have noticed is that so many coaches are now teaching others how to become a coach. And of course, everyone can become a coach. Ask any of them and they will probably answer something along the lines of “Do you like helping people? Then yes you’d be perfect as a coach!” I mean of course you like helping people, but does that qualify you to actually become a coach? I’ve taken two courses on coaching that focused more on visibility and attracting clients than actually helping those clients. According to those coaches, it seemed like it was more important to learn how to post attractive photos of yourself and write good sales copy than to actually work on your coaching skills.
I think the right coach can absolutely help you grow and create a plan with you so that you can start creating a better life for yourself. And it’s nice to have someone cheer you on and support your work, especially if the people around you don’t really get what you’re doing. But when I see yet another online coach coming out with their own online coaching certification, I do question their motives and credentials.
Ask questions & do your research
If you want to invest some serious money into a coaching program, do your due diligence: are these people actually established coaches themselves? Have they completed trainings and most importantly, do they have years of work experience as a successful coach? It’s one thing to coach someone and help them make better choices, but it’s another thing to then promise to turn their client into a successful coach themselves. And it’s getting harder and harder to tell who is actually legit in this world of online coaching and certifications.
Most coaches that I personally know were once told that they’d be great coaches by some coach and ended up spending thousands of dollars on courses and certifications. But the reality is, they’re struggling to find paying clients. They feel overwhelmed and like they can’t compete with the established coaches online, not to mention actual therapists and psychologists. It’s not as easy as some coaches make it out to be, so do your research if this is something you’re interested in.
“But I want to become successful and help people”
Great – please go do your thing and help people. Start that business. Write that (e)book. Set up a blog and give guidance online to those who seek answers. I have a passion for helping people too. It feels good to help people. But it’s also so easy to get tempted into buying yet another course, following another training or workshop and spending your hard earned money on some promise of success. Because here’s the thing…
The answers are already within you. My own coach reminded me of this and I completely agree with her. When we turn inwards, we can find the answers we need. We can receive guidance, find our own voice and make decisions for ourselves. It’s tempting to just follow someone else’s advice and hope that whatever worked for them will work for us too, but it doesn’t work that way. For real confidence to grow, you need to do the work. To get experience, you need to go out and practice. Reading a book or buying a course may motivate you, but the actual work starts after you’re done with the book or course. That’s when the practice and honing your skills starts.
Focus on yourself and your work
These days I don’t invest in a lot of courses anymore. I still work with one coach and I’m open to learning from coaches and leaders in my industry, but the moment I get the feeling they’re only talking to me because they’re trying to sell me something I’m out. I know that the answers are within and I rather focus on myself and the effect that my work can have on people. I don’t want to blindly follow someone else’s advice. Following too many of these people can also be quite overwhelming. There is so much information, advice, tips and content that it’s hard to really absorb it all. So try and follow only those that really speak to you.
Next time you’re considering working with a coach, buying a course or training, go inward and ask yourself if this is right for you. Is your heart telling you that this is 100% aligned for your highest good? Or is your ego speaking and coming up with ways to justify this purchase? If you’re still and listen to your heart, you will know the difference. Be mindful of who you listen to and want to learn from. Only listen to those who you feel really connected to. And when in doubt, don’t do it. There will be other opportunities and people coming your way that are totally right for you!