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Don’t Be Like Most Coaches

If you coach high-performing clients your job is NOT to answer their questions. 

Your real job is to help them upgrade the quality of the questions they are living into.

If you coach high-performing clients your job is NOT to tell them your powerful insights. 

Your real job is to create the space for their own life-changing insights.

If you coach high-performing clients your job is NOT to be their friend, to please them or to say what they want to hear.

Your real job is to serve them by hiding nothing and holding nothing back. 

If you coach high-performing clients your job is NOT to hold them accountable for the goals they say they want.

Your real job is to help them find a mission that’s so damn inspiring NOTHING will stop them.


It’s said that a young man once wrote to Mozart, “Herr Mozart, I am thinking of writing symphonies. Can you give me any suggestions as to how to get started?” 

Mozart responded, “A symphony is a very complex musical form, perhaps you should begin with some simple lieder and work your way up to a symphony.” 

“But Herr Mozart, you were writing symphonies when you were 8 years old.” 

“But I never asked anybody how.”


This is edgy, right…
  • Isn’t your entire coaching career based on the premise that you have better answers than your clients?
  • Isn’t your entire coaching career based on the premise that you’re the leader who your clients will follow?
  • Isn’t your entire coaching career based on the premise that you’re an expert who your clients ‘need’?
The answer to these last three questions is probably yes for most coaches. 

But YOU don’t want to be like ‘most coaches’. 

You see, most coaches are struggling. 

Most coaches make $20K a year or less. 

Most coaches are Social Coaches not Professional Coaches. 

Most coaches have never invested significantly in their own coaching. Yet they wonder why they can’t convince their clients to pay for coaching.


In a world where the barrier to entry to the Coaching profession is so low that you can now get certified as a coach online for free, the barrier to success is huge. 

In a world where anyone can call themselves a coach, it takes a rare coach to show up with a powerful and fearless approach. 

As Daniel Coyle, the author of The Talent Code once said:

Don’t seek a coach who’s like a courteous waiter. 

Seek a coach who scares you a little. 

Why: It’s easy to confuse pleasure and comfort with actual learning. But truly good coaches are about challenging you to get to the edge of your abilities, time and time again. 

Seek out coaches who are authoritative. Who know their stuff, and who take charge. 

A little scary is good.

Most coaches immerse themselves in self-help books. They read the same authors, listen to the same podcasts, attend the same events. 


Most coaches approach coaching as if it is remedial.

You have a problem. 
I can fix it. 

There’s something wrong. 
I have the answer. 

You need more commitment. 
I’ll hold you accountable. 


In a recent interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson (the preeminent American astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, and science communicator) said:

I just saw [the movie] Whiplash. It was interesting. 

Here’s why I take issue with it. It’s one jazz musician and one overbearing coach, so I get that, but I come from a world where true success is completely driven from within the individual and not from someone outside of them. 

While the case portrayed there is some fraction of cases that are out there, at the end of the day, Einstein became Einstein not because someone said, “Keep studying, keep studying!” and someone didn’t say, “Isaac Newton, go invent calculus!” He invented it on his own. 

So in my world, there is no success without people being self-driven, and to believe that you only achieve greatness because someone pushed you there? I don’t see that. 

The story was nonetheless intriguing, but I feel it may be the minority of cases who have succeeded in a singular way in life. 

If someone treats you that way, you may become really good at something but you won’t become the greatest at it, and you’ll resent them and you might even turn away from the subject entirely.” 


Love. Rich

PS. ALL clients are high-performing clients if you are willing to see them that way.


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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. Over 100 people joined me for our first live call – and all calls are recorded, so it’s not too late to join me…
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