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52 pieces of counterintuitive advice

High level coaches constantly provoke their clients’ thinking. 

Stop sharing tips from Brené Brown, Seth Godin and Simon Sinek. That will make you sound the same as 99% of coaches.

Come up with your own counterintuitive advice. 

Most people think _____. The truth is _____. 

Here are 52 pieces of counterintuitive advice, designed to provoke your thinking. Some of them I’ve shared for years. Some I came up with this morning. 

Stop sharing memes, think deeply, rock the boat, provoke your clients…

1. The more money people invest in their coaching, the less time and support they’ll require.

2. If you don’t feel Imposter Syndrome, you’re probably not playing big enough. 

3. Never offer time management tips to an exhausted high-performer. You’ll only help them to increase the number of things on their plate. Find out why they’re addicted to work and coach them on that. 

4. Test your newest ideas on your highest paying clients. Give away your best ideas for free. 

5. Fear is often a mask for desire. Walk softly in the direction of your fears. Help your clients do the same. 

6. If you have a mission you can accomplish alone, you’re not dreaming big enough. 

7. In an increasingly high tech world, high touch is your competitive advantage. 

8. The opposite of uncertainty isn’t certainty, it’s creativity. 

9. You can coach a client for a year using a single tool. Find out what energizes them and what drains them. Each week remove one energy drainer from their life. They’ll accomplish extraordinary things without even needing coaching. 

10. Coaching is an apprentice-based profession. If you’ve never invested more in coaching than you feel comfortable to spend, how can you possibly ask your clients to do so?

11. Had a coach you didn’t like? Suck it up. Attended a training that didn’t feel good? Suck it up. You don’t stop reading when you read a bad book. You don’t stop driving because you once bought a clunker. You can learn from the most challenging circumstances. The best coaches never stop learning, studying, and growing. 

12. A goal is a place to come from, not a place to get to. 

13. We usually know in advance how we’ll fail at something, or how we tend to quit. Help your clients identify how they fail or bail and handle that before they begin. 

14. If the HR department is asking for your coaching certification, you haven’t served the CEO or the leadership team powerfully enough. Serve them powerfully and they’ll do whatever it takes to hire you. 

15. Almost never make a proposal to an HR department. HR will love you but they rarely control the budget. Never talk to anyone in corporate about coaching, unless they could write you a check at the end of your conversation. 

16. When a potential client says, “I’m in…” don’t believe them. Slow them down. Test the yes. (Yes often means, “I don’t want to work with you, but it’s too awkward to tell you that…”)

17. If you want 10/10 clients, turn away the 9.9s. 

18. When a potential client says, “I’d love to work with you but it’s too expensive…” don’t try to handle their objections. Honor their objections, “I get it. Not everyone is ready to work with me the first time we meet…”

19. Most coaches waste thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours creating fancy websites, learning complex marketing tools and hiring social media “experts.” Look people in the eyes and tell them, “I’d love to work with you.” Call one person a day to see if you can help them. Those things are scarier but they’ll increase your business 10X more than a fancy website. 

20. Stop trying to write a book for a million people. Most books on Amazon sell only a handful of copies. Instead, write a book for a single client, or a single leadership team. Astonish people by doing things that don’t scale. 

21. A powerful proposal is a summary of a powerful conversation. Stop using a proposal as a way to avoid a powerful conversation. When someone says, “Send me a proposal…” it usually means they don’t want to work with you. 

22. Money problems are often not money problems. Money problems are often emotional problems, or they’re patterns that go back one or two generations. Ask your clients about their parents’ money behaviors (and even their grandparents’). We’re often run by ways of being that aren’t our own. 

23. You can never have enough of what you don’t really need. Don’t fall into the trap of immediately helping your clients achieve what they say they want. Help them find out what they really, really want. 

24. Got a client who struggles to say what they want? Help them define their nightmare scenario, instead. Nightmare day… Nightmare clients… Nightmare relationship… Then help them avoid their nightmare!

25. There are more unhappy millionaires than you know. Money is an amplifier. More of it increases your insecurities, it doesn’t alleviate them. Handle your insecurities before you make any more money.  

26. The opposite of success isn’t failure, it’s mediocrity. Top performers aren’t afraid of failing, they’re afraid of becoming insignificant and making no impact. That’s both a blessing and a curse…

27. If you’re the most interesting person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. 

28. When a leader tells you there’s no one else who can do what they do, assume that 9 times out of 10, that’s not true and tell them so. They’ll initially hate you and eventually be grateful. 

29. Givers are the most successful people. They are also the least successful people. Build your business by serving others but create ruthless boundaries for yourself. Plan your time off before anything else. 

30. Saying yes to almost every opportunity got you here. Saying no to almost every opportunity will get you there. 

31. It’s easier to achieve the ‘impossible’ than to go after what you think you can get. 

32. The job of a leader is to create more leaders, not more followers. 

33. Confidence is a result, not a requirement. 

34. Clarity is overrated. You’ll have clarity in the rear view mirror. Take tiny uncertain steps in the direction of your dreams every day and clarity will occur. 

34. Money, fame and success won’t make you as happy as you imagine. You can never have enough of what you don’t really need.

35. You need to risk your current success to get to your next level of success. 

36. Space is where miracles occur. Help your clients take more time off and spend more time in nature. Extremely busy clients need this more than anyone but they’ll try to convince you they couldn’t possibly take time off, right now. Ruthlessly push them to take time off. They’ll hate you now. They’ll be grateful in the future.  

37. Present day self is strong. Future self is weak. You will eat the junk food in your house. You will answer emails when you wake up. The more money you make, the more money you’ll spend. So set up your environment to protect you. Tell the hotel to empty the minibar before you arrive. Leave your phone out of the bedroom. Move 30% of your income to a tax account as soon as it hits your bank account. 

38. Make every decision a Hell Yes or a Hell No. Maybes are just Hell. Get rid of all your maybes. They are sucking energy from your life.

39. Serve your clients, don’t please them. Stop trying to be their friend. Care so much that you don’t care. 

40. Slow down to speed up. There’s a reason the fastest racing car drivers are taught, “Go slow to go smooth. Go smooth to go fast.”

41. Stop trying to save your clients. If you try to be a hero, you’ll attract victims. Be their peer, not their hero. Stop seeking clients you can inspire and seek clients who inspire you

42. Coach people wealthier, more intelligent and more successful than you. They need your help more than they know and more than you think. 

43. A little scary is good. Comfort is overrated if you want to accomplish big things. 

44. Tell your very best team members to fire themselves in the next 6 months. Tell them to hire someone better than them, in their place. You’ll scare them but it’s not because you want to get rid of them. You’re nudging them into their Zone of Genius – the one or two things that only they can do. Build a team who each operate in their Zone of Genius and have them help you to step more and more into your own Zone of Genius. 

45. Hire overlings, not underlings. 

46. Use money as a barometer for your actions, not your emotions. Move money from your current account into savings as soon as it arrives. Use your bank account to stimulate your creativity not your fear. 

47. Want more clients? Go back to basics. Always. Connect. Invite. Create. Propose. Track how much money you make in proposals. Track how many NOs you collect. There’s a reason the best soldiers, athletes and performers on the planet master the basics, first. You’re never too experienced to not go back to basics. 

48. Celebrate the NOs you receive. NO is an acronym. It means Next One. Yes lives in the land of No. 

49. You can’t take a client any deeper than you’ve gone yourself. Get your own coach – someone who scares you a little. Get trained in Deep Coaching. Work on your shadow side. See a therapist. See a spiritual director. Go to couples counseling. Do a 12-step program at least once in your life. Work on your fears. Work on your money stuff. Tell your kids your flaws and what makes you feel afraid. 

50. Take one tiny step that scares you, every day. When you build your courage muscle you’ll do incredible things. 

51. Nobody is impressed by your new car, your lovely home, your nice clothes, your cool vacation. They’re too busy thinking about the car, the home, the clothes and the vacation that they want. But if you’ve worked hard and made a real difference, treat yourself. You deserve it. 

52. More successful people than you have bigger problems than you. Solve bigger problems. 

53. Stop being afraid of making mistakes.  #34 shows up twice.  I made a mistake.  Who cares.  Move on.  If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not growing…

Love. Rich


PS. More transparency here: almost 20 years into my coaching career, I still get nervous every time I launch a new program. When the first person signs up, it always feels like a fluke! And it’s only after the second person is in that I believe it’s real.

Well, the first two people have already signed up for The $100K Club, so strap in, we are ready to fly!!

There are now just 13 spots left at the early bird price. They include a gift ticket to my four newest programs (a $3,686 value bonus). Don’t miss this opportunity to join an exclusive group of coaches committed to growth and success.

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