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Ask Me Anything: you asked, I answered! Part 1

Once in a while I run an Ask Me Anything for my private clients or my Facebook community. 

I’ve gathered together 88 of the most interesting questions and my answers from the last few sessions. 

Here are the first 22 questions… 

  1. How do you grow your coaching business as fast as possible?

The faster you want to grow your coaching business the more you need to slow down. 

It’s counterintuitive. If you want to grow quickly, make a commitment to the long haul. If you want to be oversubscribed, show up now as if you were already oversubscribed.

The less you need a client, the more attractive you are. The more of a hurry you’re in, the longer it will take…

  1. What strategies led to your success in writing so much? Writing every day is a Herculean task. 

No it’s not. You’re afraid of other people’s judgment or criticism. And you’re afraid you’ll mess up or get it wrong. That’s why you’re not writing. 

If you want to write, then write. You’ll probably be judged and criticized and mess up and get it wrong. And that’s ok. It’s how you grow. 

Start small. Build your voice by writing to people who actually want to hear from you – your clients. Write a tiny newsletter once a week. That’s it. There’s time to think about building an audience later. 

  1. How do I uplevel my clients?

Coach clients who are more successful than you by helping them put at risk their current level of success to achieve their next level of success. 

Coach clients who are more intelligent than you by having the confidence to ask the “dumb” questions that no one else would dare to ask. Know that their intelligence is their biggest challenge and your curiosity is your biggest asset. 

Coach clients who are wealthier than you by exploring with them the things that money can’t buy. Like the love of a child, deep connection with a spouse, or leaving a legacy. 

Successful, intelligent, wealthy people have few people in their lives who are willing to tell them what they most need to hear. They need your support more than you think and more than they know.

You’ve got this. And they need you. 

  1. What do you love about coaching?

When I was a Vice Principal, interviewing potential teachers for my school, I only cared about the answer to a single question: “What do you love about kids?”

If their eyes lit up when they answered, I could teach them everything they needed to know about how to be a great teacher. 

If their eyes didn’t light up, I didn’t care if they had a PhD from Oxford University or 20 years of teaching experience, they weren’t for me. 

I love coaching because it feeds my soul when I spend time with courageous people whose eyes light up at the thought of making a real difference. 

  1. I’m struggling to create clients. What should I do?

If you really need to make money, quit coaching. 

You can’t thrive if you are in scarcity. You can’t enroll a client if you need them more than they need you. And you’ll struggle to create clients if you can’t make rent at the end of the month.

It’s far better to have a job and a regular paycheck – and to coach on the side – than to be a struggling, needy coach.

Or consider working for a coaching agency. You’ll only be paid 20-50% of the coaching fee and that might feel painful. But they’ll be doing all the hard work of enrollment for you and you’ll be paid only to coach. How good would that feel?

  1. What’s the best way to describe your coaching?

Ask your top 20 favorite clients – past and present – the following questions:

(1.) What are the top 3 words you’d use to describe me?

(2.) When I leave a room, what’s missing?

(3.) What’s a great quality you see in me that most people don’t see?

  1. I want to increase my coaching fee but I doubt myself and I don’t feel ready…

I get it. I raised my rates to $20K in 2008. It took 11 months before the first person paid that new rate. But I spent 11 months serving my ass off and saying that number out loud, so that it felt like my number, even though no one had paid me. 

When people couldn’t afford my new rate, I had other items on my menu. Eventually the day came when someone said, “I’m in.” They mailed me my first $20,000 check. 

You don’t need to charge high fees as a coach. There are hundreds of thousands of coaches who charge $50 an hour or less. But when you stop charging your clients by the hour and you charge for the value you create, everything changes – for you and for your clients. 

  • Higher fees help you filter for clients who are more focused, who take rapid action and who are committed to their long-term success. 
  • Higher fees allow you to work with a handful of high-performing clients and then support others, at little or no fee. 
  • Higher fees allow you to give back, to work for non-profits, to offer scholarships and to raise money for charities. 
  • Higher fees allow you to help your clients and to create a great lifestyle for you and your family.

Pro tip: if you really want to increase your fees, start by increasing the value you create for your clients. 

  1. How do you coach a client who has been fired?

Start with a pattern interrupt. Say, “Congratulations!“

When I was fired, a friend said that to me and it completely changed my life. 

  1. When is your new book expected to drop?

My first book sold over 100,000 copies. When I wrote the second book, I set an intention that it would sell 100,000 copies in the first year alone. Hey, I like ambitious goals!

The irony of my desire to help more coaches learn how to build a word-of-mouth business – without the need for internet marketing, or social media – is that I’m intending to use it to get this next book into the world!

I’m OK with his paradox, but it does mean it will take a longer to release than I had hoped. It’s looking like 2024 for our release date. I’ll keep you posted and I’ll continue to write a newsletter twice a week, where I share my best ideas, thoughts and tools. So I’ve got your back along the journey… 

  1. How do you gain access to high net worth clients?

Be cautious about looking for high net worth clients as a solution to make more money. High net worth individuals are extremely wary about people trying to sell them something, because it happens so often. 

Stop looking for clients with resources. Look for clients who are resourceful. 

I’ve had several millionaires tell me it was too expensive to work with me. And I have had many other people, who did not have the finances, do whatever it took to create them, in order to be coached by me. 

Pro tip: treat everyone you meet as if they are already a high value client.

  1. What advice would you give a new coach on how to start creating clients?

Read The Prosperous Coach. Watch every video on my YouTube channel. Listen to every podcast episode I’ve recorded. Read every article I’ve written. That’s a Master’s level education and you don’t need to pay me a penny. 

Or get a PhD as a Prosperous Coach, by joining me for 8 months of coaching to master creating clients by invitation and referral only. 

  1. How important do you think it is to have a niche?

First, stop worrying about a niche. Put your attention on a need… What do your dream clients need the most?

Second, when most coaches talk about a niche, it means they have a filter around demographics. They say things like, “I work with men in their forties… I work with women in transition… I work with leaders scaling their business from $5 million to $10 million…”

The problem with a demographic is that it’s completely made up. And if someone from outside that demographic came along most coaches would happily say yes anyway.

A psychographic helps you filter your clients by mindset. That’s a much more powerful filter. I created the 3×3 Tool to help you discover your own psychographic. 

  1. How do you stand out in a sea of coaches when you don’t have a niche?

Serve one person as powerfully as you can. Repeat.

  1. I hate the persuasive, hard sell marketing techniques I see coaches using. It feels unethical. 

There are definitely unethical coaches. There are also unethical lawyers, dentists, doctors, politicians, entrepreneurs and corporations. 

Wells Fargo bank has been fined millions of dollars for unethical business practices. Volkswagen was ordered to pay a $2.8 billion criminal fine for cheating on government emissions tests. BP paid $63.4 billion in legal fees and cleanup costs for the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. And Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of the blood-testing company, Theranos, was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 9 years in prison. 

So, how do you distinguish yourself from unethical and unscrupulous people – in any field?

You create value for everyone you meet. You give more than you get. You come from a spirit of service. You do a lot of self-reflection. You give a lot of love to your friends and family. And you take time to nurture your spirit.

  1. How do you help clients truly transform their lives?

(1.) Help them dream bigger than they’ve ever dreamed. Then help them take tinier steps than they’ve ever taken.

(2.) Work on their identity rather than strategy or tactics. 

(3.) Ask life-changing questions

(4.)Create and use tools, manifestos and scorecards

  1. How do I deal with self doubt?

You doubt yourself when you’re outside your comfort zone – but that’s actually where the magic happens. So assume that self-doubt is the clue that you are heading in the right direction! 

  1. What words can I use to describe my coaching that makes it come alive to potential clients?

Words have power. So it’s great that you want to find the correct words to describe your dream clients. But you know what also has power? 

Action… Get out in the world and experiment. Test lots of different ways of describing your dream clients and notice what resonates with people and what doesn’t.

  1. How do I create my personal coaching framework?

Draw a Venn diagram with 3 overlapping circles. In each, write one of your top 3 values. In the overlap between two circles, describe what happens when you have only two of the values, without the third. 

That’s your first piece of intellectual property. Go teach it. Adapt it over time.

  1. What’s your best parenting advice?

You can’t get it right. 

  1. How would you define intuition? And how valuable is it as a coach?

As a scientist by training, I’d say that intuition is high-level, complex, pattern recognition. 

As a student of intuition, I’d say that intuition is God’s way of talking to you.

  1. I want to serve a new type of client. How do I reach out to them?

Start a research project. Interview the most fascinating people you know on those topics. 

“Hi ____, I’m researching a book on resilience in high-level leaders. Our mutual friend ____ told me that you are the most high-level leader she knows who embodies this quality. 

Could we speak for just 15 minutes, so I can ask you 3 questions as part of my research? I promise to share my results when the research is complete.”

Don’t use this tool as a sort of bait and switch. You can’t promise to interview people but secretly try to get them as a client. If you genuinely care about the topic you’re researching, you’ll connect with interesting people – as a peer. And this is key. You’ll get all sorts of insights about the challenges faced by your next level of clients.

  1. What has helped you most to build self-confidence? 

Confidence is a result, not a requirement. I have spent over 15 years writing almost every day. Some of it I publish. Some of it is for my community or private clients. Some just for myself. 

I’ve been making videos for over ten years. I used to be awful on camera. I just kept going.

You don’t need confidence to write. You just need to write. Confidence is the payoff for your discomfort along the way. 

I’m curious. Which of the above questions would you have answered differently to me – and why?

This Ask Me Anything continues next time. Future questions include:

  • What is the most important element of a successful mastermind group?
  • If you were to start your coaching business all over again what would you do differently?
  • Of all the things you have learned in your life, what is the number one lesson?
  • The world of coaching seems so overcrowded. What should I do?

Love. Rich


PS. Join me this July to write your book, transform your coaching business, and attract your dream clients. My newest program is called, $100K Book: How to Write A (Tiny) Book That Creates Clients. The price increases on June 17 by $245.

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  1. Rich Litvin’s 1:1 Coaching Playbook: Learn my top 10 proven tools for coaching elite clients in this live training. All calls are recorded, so it’s not too late to join me… 
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