Creating clients is the easy part. The hard part is overcoming fear and building trust.
My 2 year old son’s swim teacher was interviewed in a local paper, recently. For twenty years he has taught generations of Southern Californians how to paddle in his backyard pool.
I love this. He says:
“My business isn’t about swimming; it’s about confidence. Swimming is the easy part. The hard part is overcoming fear and building trust.”
The article says, “His legions of fans refer to him as ‘the Swim Whisperer’. He starts kids as young as two, and his approach is no-nonsense: He doesn’t use flotation devices or allow goggles because “you need to learn to swim with what you have.”
He doesn’t offer private lessons, believing that students learn best with their peers. (Seeing others their age dunk their heads motivates the most apprehensive kids.)
The child’s readiness is irrelevant, he says. Children respond to him because he doesn’t give them the option not to. Even if they cry and protest, he keeps coming at them with ‘You can do this’.”
For the past five years I have run Salons and Intensives and taught high-performing coaches to enroll high-performing, high-paying clients. Coaches in my community have enrolled $20,000 clients, $50,000 clients—even $150,000 clients. Two members of my community now coach billionaire clients. My clients have coached execs at Fortune 50 firms and top tech firms like Google. Many of my clients have mid to high six figure incomes. Several still don’t have a website.
And I’ve applied the very same principles a swim teacher for toddlers uses:
1. HIGH-FLAME COACHING – I’m not here to be your friend. You’re not looking for another ‘buddy’. My job isn’t to make you feel ‘comfortable’.
I’m here to help you lean into your edge. Not so far past it that you get scared. But far enough that you stretch and grow (even if you shed a few tears on the journey).
2. LEARNING MUST BE FUN – you learn best when you are enjoying yourself. You learn best when you’re in action, not learning more ‘information’.
I’m continually setting challenges for my clients or having them play ‘games’. It gets them out of their head and in motion.
3. YOU DON’T NEED TO BE READY – no coach will ever be ‘ready’ to run their first workshop, fill their first event, or sign their first $50,000 client.
Don’t wait to be ready. Decide what you want and head in that direction.
As we used to say as kids, “ready or not, here I come…”
4. REFUSING TO BUY INTO YOUR STORY – one of the biggest gifts I give my clients is that I refuse to buy their story. I refuse to see the ‘hard lines’ in their world. I refuse to accept what they see as ‘impossible’.
I recently had a client in a panic when $30,000 of regular, monthly business was cancelled at short notice. She called me in total fear mode.
But her story meant ‘nothing’ to me. In fact, instead of sympathizing, I challenged her.
I sent her back into the world with a powerful mission. She re-signed the business within days.
5. BELIEVING IN YOU MORE THAN YOU BELIEVE IN YOURSELF – more than the power of my coaching, I sometimes think that it’s just the knowledge my clients have that I fully believe in them—even when they are struggling to believe in themselves—that makes all the difference.
My clients know what a HIGH BAR I set to work with me. In fact, I regularly turn people away from my Intensives if they are not a fit.
Simply being a client is a sign of how much trust and belief I have in you. And that speaks volumes.
6. PEER LEARNING – we learn most when we’re part of a tribe. And when you’re part of a tribe of high-performing coaches, committed to their Professional Development, it’s edgy but exciting to learn from one another.
I run a community of powerful coaches that has grown by word of mouth alone for the past five years.
7. FAILURE CAN BE FUN – failure is not the objective but it IS the path to more success.
I tell my clients that my MISSION is to have them feel uncomfortable. That RISK IS THE NEW SAFE. That if they’re not failing on a regular basis, I’ll fire them as a client.
8. WHAT SCARES YOU MASKS YOUR SECRET DESIRES – my two year old son didn’t like putting his head under water on day one of his new swim class.
But we talk a lot about his dream to be a scuba diver. He wants to dive with his daddy when he’s older.
By day two he’d relaxed and by day three he was having fun blowing underwater bubbles and seeing how big his teacher’s eyes looked when they put their heads under at the same time.
What are YOU most afraid of in your coaching practice, right now? Asking a bigger fee, creating a group program, signing a high-end client…
Fear aside, how cool would it feel to CREATE that?
Forget your little ‘goals’. Go after what you really, really, REALLY want. Go after what SCARES you.
And help your clients do the same. It will change everything.
9. BUILD TRUST – this underlies everything you do as a powerful coach.
The most successful and accomplished clients will give you full permission to say to them the things that no one else would dare to say (in my experience they often crave it) IF you have gained their trust first.
Counterintuitively, you gain their trust by trusting them first.
Be vulnerable. Hide nothing. Hold nothing back. Be authentic. Be you. Risk sharing YOUR fears. Tell stories of your challenges. Tell stories of your clients’ successes. Ask permission. Constantly.
And don’t be afraid to take them where they don’t want to go.
They’ll feed off your energy. So breathe. Relax.
Remember that the person in front of you is far more more powerful than they know. They are far closer to what they desire than they could ever imagine. They don’t need ‘help’ but they do need you far more than you need them.