Ep #164: How Not to Get Duped by Your Coach

Life coaching has been a thriving industry for years, and it is coming under a lot more scrutiny, and it should.

This conversation is through the lens of you choosing a business coach and not getting duped, but for sure be noting these things to look out for if you are doing them yourself.

People are struggling, people are suffering. And also there is a lot of really scammy, and sometimes downright illegal stuff going on in the online business industry that you need to know about.


The doors to Free to Paid Coach are officially open! If you’re ready to learn the foundational concepts of confidence that get you from being a free coach to a paid coach who makes six figures and beyond, join us right now! 

What You’ll Learn:
  • When hiring a coach, they should have their eyes and ears on your business 
  • How privilege plays a role in how you function and operate in your business
  • Why money back guarantees don’t work with most clients
  • Why transparency and honesty is the name of the game for long-term success

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to episode 164 of The Confident Coaches Podcast, the one where you don’t get duped by a coach. Let’s talk about it.

Welcome to the Confident Coaches Podcast, a place for creating the self-confidence you need to do your best work as a life coach. If you want to bring more boldness, more resilience, and more joy to your work, this is the place for you. I’m. Amy Latta, let’s dive in.

Hello my friends. So, this is a super fun episode to be doing for the last episode of the year because it’s not really a wrap up. It’s kind of a strange energy to go into the next year, but I can’t think of a more important topic than we need to be talking about. There’s a lot of backstory here. Each of the pieces of backstory could probably be its own episodes.

We won’t get into all of that, but I think it’s really important to know. We’re wrapping up 2022. This episode’s dropping the last Tuesday of 2022, and it’s been a couple of years, hasn’t it? Doesn’t really feel like it seems to be improving. Maybe it is, but here’s what I know: between 2020 and 2021, I mean, life coaching was already a thriving industry, but because of the circumstances of the world, there are so many more life coaches now in the world because it’s been an ideal time to help people.

People are struggling, people are suffering. And also there is a lot of really skeevy, scammy, sometimes downright illegal stuff going on in the online business industry, and life coaching is still primarily an online business.

It’s coming under a lot more scrutiny, and it should, and I want this to be the start of a conversation. So, this conversation is through the lens of you choosing a business coach for 2023 and not getting duped, but for sure be noting these things to look out for and are you doing them?

So full disclosure, a lot of what I’m talking about in here, I have done. I have owned up to it as I’ve noticed it. There’ll be some owning up to it in this episode itself, and here’s the interesting thing, some of the backstory. I am actually a corporate marketer by trade. I went to business school.

I have a marketing degree. I spent 10 years in corporate marketing. I know the basics and the principles of business and marketing. Those truths that never change no matter how the industries fluctuate up and down, right? There will always be trends and forecasts and what was, you know, what worked 30 years ago does not work now.

But there are basic principles always at play, and those never changed. And what happened so frequently is I’ve talked extensively about how that schooling in corporate background, I felt so much pressure to conform and it squashed so much for my creativity that I threw the baby out with the bathwater when I became an online business entrepreneur because online business is kind of like the wild, wild west.

There are no rules. You can kind of do anything. Listen, we can take the innovation of the online marketing world, but ground it to the practical, non-damaging practices of basic understanding of how business and marketing work.

Now we could do an entire episode on capitalism and capitalism in a way that doesn’t harm the mass populace. That’s an entirely separate conversation. That is not what we’re talking about here, but I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about unfettered capitalism and how damaging that is to people. Again, not for today’s topic.

This really is how to market ourselves. So, let’s look for what we see other coaches doing that are dupey, that are red flags, and a lot of us, again, me included, following business practices that have been modeled for us and they aren’t good practices.

Here’s the thing, if something works and is effective and gets the results, does that mean you should do it? I’m going to use a weight loss analogy here, drastically reducing your calories and working out for four hours a day and only eating salads and protein might help you get a super lean body. But does that mean that’s what you should be doing for a healthy, productive, successful body?

You might hit the weight, you might hit the number, but are you as a whole going to be healthy? That’s the basis of this conversation.

As a business coach, there are a lot of things that might get me the numbers that might get you the numbers. As your business coach, I can coach you, do this, don’t do that, and you might hit the numbers, but will you just hit the number, or will you be a well-rounded, healthy human with that number?

Which one is more important? Listen, if hitting the number is the most important thing to you, then I’m not your coach. And this isn’t your podcast, and that’s okay. I send you on your way, but I am interested in the whole body of you, the wholeness of you. This is The Confident Coaches Podcast, not the “get rich at all costs podcast.”

That’s where this conversation is stemming from. Me remembering who the fuck I am, as compassionate, empathetic, transparent, vulnerable, authentic coach (I think I might have said authentic more than once) human being who owns completely who she is, who also wants to make and have the other women in her life and empower women to make as much money as you fucking want, to live the life of your dreams.

These things do not have to be in conflict with one another, but so often what we are being modeled it is in conflict with one another. Okay, so here are some things I want you to look for, because some of this is just kind of icky, some of it is downright gross. At least one of the things I’m going to say is downright illegal, and yet I know so many coaches doing it and using it.

So, let’s start. Okay, so first of all, think right out of the gate. “I did it, so can you.” Ugh. Really? I mean, maybe if that’s what a coach is selling you. “I did it, so can you anybody can do this.” Beware of the “anybody can do this.” So many things going on here. Oftentimes this is completely hiding their complete lack of skills or understanding of what they are coaching on.

The only proof that their business coaching works is because it worked for them. That is not proof.

Now, if you are a new coach, this might be your only marketing, but even then, “here is what I did to get from point A to point B to improve my relationship with my husband … let me help you do the same,” is very different than “I made 100k in seven days and anybody else can too,”

Just because you have had one successful business doesn’t mean you can teach other people how to have successful businesses. There are a lot more pieces at play. I for sure forgot who the fuck I was, Amy Latta with a marketing and business degree who worked in corporate marketing.

I shut all of that down. I threw all of that away because of how corporate marketing diminished me without bringing along what I learned. What I know fundamentally as fundamentals of business, let me dust off that information sitting in my brain, it’s really good stuff. There’s skills and experience and expertise here and at play.

And oftentimes this, “I did it, and so can you, anybody can do it” is hiding their privilege or the power that they inherently have that you may not have. And this does such a disservice to people who think they must suck because they can’t create the same results when really, they just need a different modality, or they have some intersectional issues at play that that coach is either ignoring or they’re saying “it’s just your thoughts” or they’re completely ill-equipped to help you coach through them a different version of the “it worked for me, it can work for you” is that rags to riches story.

First of all, the rags to riches story amongst business coaches is really overplayed at this time. Like so many people, “like I started off with $5, now I have 5 million.” Listen, we love an underdog story. We love a rag to riches story. We love these stories on Netflix. We love these movies, but is that the best business coach for you?

First of all, it may or may not be true. I do know a lot of coaches who use this who can back it up with numbers and I’m like, “good.” But I know a lot of them who can’t, and these rags to riches stories, so often downplay advantages that were in their favor. Maybe inherent wealth was not in their favor, but so many other things.

And the rags to riches story doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s transferrable to another person. Doesn’t mean I can teach you how to do your own rags to riches story. They aren’t relying on skills, methodologies, modalities, experience, or even other client success stories to back up their claims and to be able to help you, you as the person, you know.

And speaking of advantages and privilege, we got to call it out. We really, really do. Again, this right here, each one of these things actually can be its own podcast episode, but we’re just like kind of racing down to the like, how not to get duped. Pay attention to the people who are completely ignoring their advantages and their privilege or telling you it’s just your thoughts that they aren’t talking about it.

Race, religion, socio socioeconomic class, education, marriage status, parental status, their body type, physical health, mental health. All of that is at play. All of it. And I think it’s super important. So, I’m going to like pull back the curtains right here. I am a white woman. If you haven’t already seen the picture on the cover of this podcast, I’m a white woman.

I am not practicing of any faith, but it is presumed that I am Christian. I’m a waspy European background. I come from a middle-class family. Now there was a time when my family was very poor. My mom was a single mom, you know, a single mom on WIC and welfare when she first started out.

But by the time I’m in high school, and I went to college, my scholarships helped paid for it, but I had two parents in the home. Were they great parents? Did, were there problems in the home? Absolutely, but I always had a roof over my head. I always knew where my next meal was coming from. That’s privilege right there, my friends.

And being educated, not that my degree makes me better at my job, but the processing skills of my brain, my critical thinking skills, my ability, if there’s one thing, education in higher education does challenge you, challenges you to be a thinker, that is very important. I’m a married woman. I never had to worry about my roof being over my head or my dishes and my food being in my pantry while I was building my business because my husband had a job.

What a huge privilege for me, and it’s important that I acknowledge that I could give my business 40 hours a week or how many hours a week that I wanted to. One thing that I don’t necessarily think was an advantage for me, but it is for other people, is my parenting status. Now I got a lot of other privileges going on, but having other small humans in the house that you have to take care of, you have to find childcare.

What if they’re sick? Well, you have to pay for their needs. What if they are special needs? Those are all things that come into play too. And a lot of the rags to riches stories, “I did it so you can do. You can do it too,” they either have partners or they don’t have children and they’re helping out with those things.

And also, let’s be honest, I might currently be about 40 pounds over what my comfort, my norm is because of hormones and perimenopause. But I am still considered a non-fat person, and so I get a lot of advantages to that too. I’m considered an attractive, not overweight person. That’s an advantage. People give me more authority in a room.

I am physically healthy. I am mostly mentally healthy. I would say my biggest disadvantage there is my ADD but I’ve gotten a lot of coaching on working around that. I don’t suffer from severe depression. There aren’t days where I just don’t want to get out of bed. I mean, yeah, there are days when I don’t want to get outta bed, but not because of a mental health issue.

So, I think it’s very important that you all know what my advantages and my privileges are, and it’s important that I know where your yours are too, or that you are working with a coach who understands that, because then rather than just going, “well, you should be able to do it too, or it’s just your thoughts,” I can say, “hey, here’s what’s going on in your circumstance line, and here are some obstacles that might be in your way, that weren’t in my way.” I don’t have to understand that to be able to help you and coach you through that, but I need to be able to acknowledge it for you, right? And so many coaches out there, for sure giant red flag.

If you are working with a coach who refuses to acknowledge the very real realities of your life, because when you are following, “and I did it, and anybody else can’t too, and oh, I didn’t have a lot of privilege either, so you should be able to overcome yours.”

Well, great for you, maybe it’s a little bit harder for you. You need a coach that’s skilled enough with experience and modalities to be able to meet you where you are and help you overcome what might be standing in your way even if they don’t understand it.

Real big thoughts around that, as you can tell. Giant thoughts around that. Yeah, for sure.

Anybody who is marketing, or you get whiff of their answer to everything is, “it’s just your thoughts.” Fucking run man. Run like the wind. This doesn’t mean that we go, “you want to know what, you do have a lot stacked against you. This is going to be much harder for you. I don’t know if this is going to work.”

No, we do not have to swing the pendulum the complete other way. This is where intersectionality is so important and so helpful, and just the acknowledgement that we understand. Not everybody has $25,000 sitting in a bank account to pay for a high-end coach. I’m going to get to that in just a minute. Everybody has a support system that can help them make sure things are covered so they can focus on their business.

Not everybody has the luxury of not working a job that pays the bills while they’re building this on the side. That’s why in any of my programs, I do not require that coaching is your full-time job. Will you get there faster? Maybe, I don’t know. You are not just one thing on paper.

Make sure you’re working with the coach that treats you as the individual as you are. I got a little bit more coming up on that too. And this leads me to, do you have a coach who never talks about struggles? Has this coach overcome all the obstacles? This shit just never bothers them anymore. Ugh, that’s a giant red flag to me.

And it’s very different than when they are asked, “of course I wake up every morning with all of these worries and concern, and then I just self-coach myself out of it.” No. I am talking about a coach who is very open and honest with like, here’s the shit I’m going with this week.

It may not be the same as yours. The struggles you have, they should have the ability to problem solve them, otherwise, why would you hire them, right?

But a really good coach has the ability to relate the current struggle that they are going through with the struggle you are currently going through. Even if what you are currently going through, they have specifically overcome that one.

This is what a good coach can do and share what they are going with in an open forum in an open matter. It doesn’t have to be like the, “oh my God, I’m such a hot mess kind of vibe,” but consistently showing that it is not necessarily better here than there, and that they have made mistakes and that they do have struggles.

Okay, so another slightly different thing, but I think it’s super important. Do they tell you what you get? Ugh, I got a big thing about this. I really, really do. Let’s be honest. Be very, very truthful. Very much principle of marketing. This is basic business 101. People don’t buy things because of features. They buy things because of how they feel when they get the result of the product. This is like marketing psych.

Also, you should tell people what they’re buying. Yes. Even the features you should tell them, these are the results we are working towards. Here are the methods and the modalities that I use to help you get there.

Here is how we’re going to meet and here are the features. Some people do not need all of that information. Some people are going to buy from you just off your vibe. Yay. Love them. Some people, they want to know all the details and they should. They are getting ready to pay you a lot of money. I am going to ask you to pay me $10,000 and I’m going to go and be like, “I don’t know, it’s like a mystery.” Fuck no. “Oh, I was in the shower, and I was super inspired to sell this program. It’s $10,000.” No. Are you serious?

Get outta here with that magical, mystical thinking bullshit. Nobody is buying a mystery from you, and you will never buy a mystery from me. I don’t necessarily have to have all my Is dotted and my Ts crossed.

My programs should be fluid to meet the needs of the clients as they arise, but I should be able to tell you what the hell you’re buying for thousands of dollars. Yes, 100% run. Do not walk.

Really be aware of like divine mystical offers. You know, it’s one thing to be like, “oh, it’s a mystery. It just kind of came up to me.” But really be careful of this. “Like, it just like came to me. I just had this like divine universal sense that I was meant to share this with you, and this is the price it’s going to be, and oh, it’s $10,000, or, oh, it’s $25,000.” Gross.

Because what they’re really doing is if you reject that, they’re telling you you must not believe in the Law of Attraction, or in your own divinity, or in your own godliness, or you must not be listening to God. It’s gross. It’s disgusting. Run. As you could tell, I have some strong feelings about those things.

You should be able to provide deliverables. And you should be able to tell them what those deliverables are before they purchase from you. This kind of a little bit goes hand in hand. It’s kind of like the flip side of that. Like, “oh, I just kind of like defined that this was the offer I should make you.”

Beware of business coaches who do like, “it’s money first marketing all of the time” income claims and income claims only.

Entire marketing emails were just screenshots of people like saying how much money they’re making and that’s their sales because typically those are only from the top earners. We have no idea what the other earners are doing. And here’s a couple of things. There’s a couple of things at play here.

First of all, it’s telling you that money is the only form of success. What did we just say about numbers? I just did a couple of Instagram stories to my close friends list on Instagram where I was talking about like, if your money and your clients and your business is not rooted in a strong, purposeful, soulful, like deep in your gut desire, then it’s all hollow.

And we are telling you we are perpetuating the idea. The only thing that matters in this world is affluence and monetary success and material goods. Listen, I love my Audi and I love some soft, luxurious sheets and I’ve seen the state of luxury hotel rooms and it’s very hard to go back. I am a girl who likes nice things for sure.

Also, all of that is completely hollow, if that’s the only thing there is. In all of the testimonials that I share, I make sure, like I ask everybody in my program to offer testimonials. Even the ones who have not hit their monetary goals, because I want them to be able to stop and see what those non-scale wins were, those non-number wins.

How are they? You want to know what I can guarantee in this program? You’re going to feel more calm, you’re going to feel more rooted. You’re going to feel more sure of who you are and what you stand for in this world, the problems that you solve for your clients, you’re going to know how to tap into that deep, divine, desirable self that’s rooted in your gut.

You’re going to know how to challenge your thinking. It’s going to improve your relationships. It’s going to improve your sex life. It’s going to improve your parenting. And yeah, you’re also going to make a hundred thousand dollars, the hundred thousand dollars without the rest of that, hollow. Miss me with that bullshit.

Okay. Also look for the use of lots of buzzwords. Okay, so buzzwords fluctuate. What’s popular today at the end of 22 is not what was popular two years ago and may not be what’s popular two years from now. But what am I talking about here? Ethical. Diversity, trauma informed, even the ones that I use, and I am and trained in patriarchy, feminism, inclusive, intersectional. Listen, these are vague and often hollow attempts to say, I’m not like those other guys.

Right? Those other guys are skeevy. I’m not skeevy. I use ethical business practices. Well, fuck, I can say that to you, but that doesn’t mean that once you get in behind closed doors, I’m not doing what literally every other online marketing bro dude is doing. At least be upfront and honest about it. At least tell me that you’re going to have me bend over at the ankles, right?

And some of these words mean so many different things. What’s ethical to you may not be ethical to me. What’s inclusive to you may not be inclusive to me. And listen, I am trauma informed to the point that I know when we have gotten to where a trauma informed specialist is needed. Just because I’ve taken a couple of classes and read Trudy LeBron’s book does not mean that I am an expert in diversity and DEI, and even I have an advanced certification in feminist coaching.

I am well versed in patriarchy. I am well versed in feminist-based coaching. I do have a really great understanding of intersectionality and inclusiveness. I am trained in those things and even I need to be aware of how much buzzwordy I’m going there. Right at this point. Patriarchy, dismantling the patriarchy. It’s starting to get a little old.

are starting to not listen to that because so many women are marketing themselves as anti-patriarchy, but they’re still showing up following the patriarchy in so many different ways. They’re not challenging the patriarchal systems that are embedded in this industry, and yet they’re calling themselves that.

This whole section around buzzwords, I am paying attention to the words I am using too. And sometimes I catch myself going, “Ooh, wow, that sounded really like buzzy. A lot of buzz words, a lot of 50 cent words in there, am I backing that up?” And that’s the biggest thing. It’s not simply that the use of the words are there, but just know not everybody agrees what they are. And are they backing that up behind closed doors?

One of the ways you can tell who are their teachers, who are they hanging out with? And listen, this is an area that I’ve been called out on multiple times and here’s my take on that. Who are their teachers? Here’s the thing, you might not like my teachers, but am I parroting what you don’t like about the teachers?

If people only judged me by who my teachers were, they would be missing a whole lot of who I actually am by not actually engaging with me. This is why you always want to be engaging with your audience, and I do. Like if these things that that are important to you, engage with the coach that you want to hire, engage with me, ask me questions, see if I can back that up or not.

You may not always like my answer. I for sure have people who hit me up in the DMs and they don’t always like my answer. They think they’re calling me out on something and I’m like, “well, actually, I see where you’re going with that,” but when the reality is somewhere is actually over here. And then sometimes I’ll be like, “you know what? You’re right.”

I just did an entire podcast on buzzwords, and yet when you look at my sales page, it’s covered in buzzwords. “Thank you for pointing that out to me,” or, “yep. I’m aware of that. My team’s going to start working on it in January. It’s already on the docket.”

Personally, I love the idea of being a business coach who follows a wide variety of people. Take what is rooted in the goodness and the transparency that I find so helpful and leave the entire rest on the table. I think another thing that’s kind of in this area, not so much on the teacher front, but on the client front, can you talk to their current and past clients? Are you legally allowed to? This is that thing that I was talking about being illegal.

A lot of non-disparagement and non-disclosure clauses and agreements out there. Guess what? The federal government has passed a law, and I don’t know the name of it off the top of my head. I probably should, probably should have looked that up before this episode, where those documents are not considered legal anymore, because if a document solely exists so that somebody cannot share their bad experience with a coach, then you are squashing people’s experience.

That’s information that people should know when they’re going to hire you. Can you talk to their current or past clients? I guarantee you that I have past clients who do not have favorable things to say about me, and they are out there in the world, and you can talk to them about it and then you can discern for yourself. Some people are like, “for sure. Oh, really? I didn’t know. Oh, that’s interesting. Thank you for telling me that about her.” I can’t control that there for sure. There are some really great people are really great products out into the world that I have an unfavorable opinion of, and it’s not justified or validated for any reason, and I just feel that way and people are going to listen to me. That’s how literally the whole world works.

Can you talk to their current or past clients? Because you should be able to, if somebody says, I’d love to answer that question, but I’m legally not allowed. That’s a red flag. Couple other red flags have to do with paying the coach. Do they offer payments?

Are you expected to come up with thousands of dollars in three days? Listen, these are huge financial decisions. This is not the Hunger Games. What’s really, really interesting is so many times they are encouraging you and pressuring like you’ve got three days. Pressuring you to buy something that maybe you can’t afford.

So, then you’re going to have to turn around and sell your thing at a higher price that maybe you are not yet comfortable with. And this is where that privilege and that power comes so in hand. So many times, they tell you that you must not be committed enough. Or what’s the cost of your dreams that you must not value your dreams and desires?

Remember all that power and privilege conversation that I had earlier? Again, we have no idea what’s going on in people’s world. That doesn’t mean we tell them that we are leaving them without hope, but we’re acknowledging where they are and coaching them to see what’s possible for them.

And you don’t even have to coach people on money if you don’t want to. Did you know that? I’m going to get to that in a moment. Like that formula idea, “this do this, don’t do that.”

Do they offer payments? Do you have to pay in full? Are there payments? Surcharged? I know lots of coaches who still surcharge them. I have got two coaches right now. One of them did not surcharge their payments and one of them did surcharge their payments. I love them both, but just pay attention. It goes back to that intersectionality. It goes back to that privilege that there might be a lot of things happening in somebody’s seat. It doesn’t mean that they’re not willing to pay, but maybe they need a little bit more time to put those funds together, and maybe they need to come up with a plan. Maybe you can help them come up with a plan. But really, I think it’s a giant red flag when somebody says, if you’re not willing to jump on this idea right now and not think about it, you’re not dedicated to your dream enough.

You’re not committed to your goal. Ooh, I know for sure this tactic was used at a really big event recently because somebody sent me a full-page email describing in detail how the audience was primed to act quickly, and then they all jumped on it. This is classic marketing manipulation and psychological technique.

It’s well done. It’s documented in books. There are big names behind there promoting these things, and it’s ew. Does it work? Yes. Should you, do it? I mean, some of some people for sure will be listening to this and being like, “I don’t really see what the problem is.” Just know that for me, I never want my client to feel like they couldn’t take a moment to use their access, their discernment to say, “is this the best decision for me?”

And then this kind of also leads me, not only can you talk to their clients, and we talk about that, our money, but can you talk to the coach? Do you have the ability to talk one-on-one to the coach that you want to hire? Because there’s a great way to decide if you want to give them your money. If you get on that phone call, first of all, can you even get on a phone call? If you can’t, I’m asking questions.

And then when you do get on that phone call, if everything is, “you must not be committed enough, what’s the cost of your dream? … This is just you’re thinking.” That’s the kind of coaching you’re going to get once you’re inside the program. And then once you’re inside, I think that’s super important.

Are you going to be talking to them? My Free to Paid coach is, I don’t know, another program that delivers at that high level where you get to actually talk to the coach every single week and pay $1,000. And listen, there’s so many programs like that out on the market because again, so many new coaches came into the industry in 2020 and 2021.

Lots of people are serving that field. Lots of people are putting out digital courses, “done-for-you courses. They’re all in that price range. And so infrequently do you actually get the actual leader of the coaching, you do with me.

And if you hire a business coach, does that business coach have their eyes and ears on your business because they should, so that they can see the intricacies of you and your personality, and your intersectionality, and the privileges and the lack of privileges going in your favor, and how you function and how you operate.

A more skilled coach is going to be able to adapt and to adjust to your specific situation, and you can’t do that if they don’t even know your name. And yes, a coach should be available to you, and also, they should be able to set boundaries as well. Anytime a client asks for coaching in DMs, I’m always going to direct them to the Facebook group so that the coaching can be available to them everywhere.

You know, I do like being available to all of my clients, but you’re not going to be constantly hitting me up in my DMs. I’m not going to always respond. I am not going to have that type of relationship with a thousand people, but I am going to know your name. I am going to have boundaries, and if you are in my five figure Mastermind for sure, you’re going to know how to get ahold of me.

Unlimited written coaching in both Free to Paid coach and Path to 100k. You take the express option in Path to 100k, which it’s all the same material, but you just have me with my eyes on your business for more time or making the decisions together. There’s more implementation as well as accountability work.

You will have more access to me there. Access to the coach is not what creates your results. And also, you should be able to have access to the coach because they should know who you are and what your name is. Yes, you can create amazing results and not even get coached by that coach. And also, they should be able to know your name. Two things can be true at the same time.

This next one I think is super-duper important. Can you leave? It’s a coach, not a cult, okay? Whether or not you renew should not be whether or not you were severing the relationship with one another. We are not sea orgs in Scientology, my friend, where one program sells to another program, sells to another program and only the good clients stay.

Listen, I have a wide variety of offers, but you don’t have to buy one before you buy another, and I don’t expect that you must go continuously up the next ladder or you’re not dedicated enough, or it’s just a thought error, or you don’t believe in yourself or believe in me.

This is why you should be able to talk to former clients. This is a very cult of personality idea here, and I have seen it in a lot of different coaching programs and it’s not a healthy relationship.

We should never be coaching our clients that they are dependent on our presence, or sometimes it’s not even our presence, dependent on being in our programs in order to create their results. We should be able to have a relationship with our clients that they feel open to communicating back and forth with and not feel like they’re going to be kicked out of the band if they don’t continuously renew with you.

And also, some clients will continuously renew because they keep getting more value from you. You are not the same coach. They’re not the same coach. And every time they go through, it’s an entirely different experience. And that’s a beautiful thing, but no one client is better than another depending on what they decide.

And this kind of leads me to that conversation, and I’ve mentioned it a couple times around, is this a coach that’s coaching to a formula or are they able to modify it for you?

Listen, formulas are great, and they can work for so many people, but there are just as many people that they don’t work for. In fact, I would offer to you that there’s more people that they don’t work for. Listen, you can scale amazingly with a formula. Also, you need a coach who can work with the individuality of you.

How I’m going to coach Susan is not how I’m going to coach Jane, so I can’t possibly give them the exact same formula because they function very differently. Their parameters are very different, and for me to say, well, they can’t be, if you’re going to be successful in this program, is a huge disservice to them and it shuts down their creativity.

Are there some best practices? Sure. My job as a business coach is to be the bumper rails, the bumper guards to keep you from veering off too far, but there’s a whole lane that you can maneuver around and find the path that works best for you.

No matter what you do, make sure you are working with the coach who is able to adapt the coaching and the path to who you are, that they have the skills and the modality to support you through bringing your scariest, most terrifying ideas to the surface and getting them out into the world and the way that works best with you, not against you.

In this last part, Beware of financial guarantees, money, income claims, like right out of the gate, you can be an amazing gymnast and you can hire the top coach in the entire world, but that coach can never guarantee that you’re going to make it to the Olympics.

Now listen, with guarantees I have offered them and they can be very fraught. It’s very hard to prove the client’s work. And does the client really want to feel like they need to take like pictures and snapshots of all their homework? Because a lot of times that’s how my guarantee was like, you’re going to need to show me that you did all of this work, because otherwise people will just come in and like not do any of the work and get their money back, and that’s not great for the client or for you, but also no client wants to feel like they’ve got a parent watching over them.

This is one of my favorite money back guarantees: “you’re going to make what you invested back, or I give it back to you.” But a lot of times there’s an income requirement that’s the cost of the mastermind.

So, wait a minute, let me get it straight, this is just for an example, “I have to make at least $10,000 to get into your mastermind and you guarantee that I’m going to make at least $10,000, or I get my money back. Well wait a minute … I’m already making that amount of money. Hopefully I’m making the same amount of money I’m already making in order to get in.”

That doesn’t really jive, right?

More important than anything is look for the transparency. Here’s the other thing about money back guarantees: “you’re going to make this money back in this amount of time.” We have no idea if you’re going to have a major life situation come up. We have no idea. Doesn’t negate the other results in the coaching that you need to work through that, but you may not make that money back in that timeframe. Now doesn’t mean that the program or the client wasn’t a success.

We have no idea until you get in the door if the money back guarantee frequently requires you only do business one way. You have to follow not just the coaching of the coach, but the actions that they’re dictating. You have to fit into their formula. What did we just say about the formula? Those don’t work for everybody.

And it’s not because the formula is wrong, and it’s not because the client is wrong, it’s just there’s intersectionality, there’s personality, there’s so many other factors at play, and it’s not fair to anybody to discount that. And frequently we don’t know that until the client is in the door. Until you’re in the door, and then we can really see.

“The fastest way to get your money back is to market this way, coach this way, and do everything this way,” but that goes entirely against what the person, how their personality is set up, how their life is set up, and that’s just not going to work.

So, do you force them into the forced lane in order to hit that money back guarantee, or do you find what’s going to work best for them?

Meaning, the income might come later, but it’s going to come with so much more ease, so much more stronger sense of self. More than anything, look for transparency.

This is where I’ve landed: I’ve offered money back guarantees. I’ve not offered money back guarantees. First of all, anybody who gets inside, and they absolutely hate it here, we’re going to talk. Nobody who hates it here, but if I’m doing my job on the front end, you’re not going to hate it once you’re in here if you are telling them everything that they get in advance.

Do you see why all of these pieces fall? “Here’s everything you’re going to get. Here’s what this is going to look like … here are the expectations that I have of you when you get in here.”

And then deliver on all of that and make sure that there’s open communication about what is and what is not working and consistently adapting those plans. That is a much more mutually beneficial pathway in. What we’re looking for is that transparency.

If there’s something that I’ve promised that I don’t deliver, “hey, you said this was coming and I don’t see it yet. When can we expect that?” Oh, thank you. This is where my ADD brain might kick in, right? “Thank you for reminding me. Let’s get that taken care of.

Guarantees often give a false security because we’re like “the coach said, if I don’t make it back, then it’s going to happen, so I’m waiting for it to happen.”

When really, what’s more important is that transparency that we are honest with ourselves as coaches and we are honest with them and actually how much better of a coach we are when we know that transparency is the name of the game and we hide nothing from one another, and that’s going to create the long-term success that this client is really looking for.

I think the last important thing … it really just comes down to- do you vibe? Are you picking up what this coach is throwing down? If it’s a coach that everybody knows and loves, but you get a hebbie geebie from, maybe you can’t pinpoint it. Listen to your hebbie geebie. Listen, if I give you a hebbie geebie, you probably shouldn’t hire me. If you listen to this podcast gritting your teeth, first of all, why are you doing that? I’m probably not your coach.

Here’s a funny thing, I was looking for a new business coach. I had the name of a couple of different people and the first few names like, “okay, I will see what they’re offer.”

There’s their testimonials. Everything looked great on the surface. I couldn’t find anything to be upset about. And then I was introduced. I was given the name of the coach I ultimately hired, and I knew, boom, less than a minute. I knew I was hiring her, and it wasn’t because she told me everything I was going to get.

Remember what I said earlier about like telling everything that you’re going to get? You should, that was all there, but that’s not what it was. I just knew this person and I we are on the same page. Listen to that gut instinct, listen to those guts. And I’ve been given the name of some other people because my time with my business coach is coming up.

I don’t know if I’m going to renew. I don’t know if I’m going to take a break. I don’t know if I’m going to look for a different format. And then that’s really ultimately, I’m looking for any of the red flags. But ultimately listen to your instincts. Doesn’t mean our instincts haven’t gone wrong in the past, but frequently it’s because we’ve been clouded by other people’s opinions.

Do you vibe with them?

Alright, lastly, before we go, before I wrap up, I wanted to share a lot of this that was in this podcast episode is a lot of the thinking and the feeling that I’ve been experiencing and remembering what I know about marketing. A lot of it is firsthand experience, secondhand experience.

Honestly, a lot of this came from the fact that I listened to a lot of non-business podcasts that asked me to critically think about things that I thought I always knew … you’re wrong about; maintenance phase; conspirituality (It’s a very hard podcast name to say).

I listened to a lot of non-business podcasts that challenged me to think about things I presume, and it had me really looking at the coaching industry and particularly business coaches with a much more discerning eye.

There were also a couple of other people that stuck out, and I want to name them. Kelly Deals. Tarzan Kay is talking a lot about the cult of personality amongst life coaches right now and, and things to look for.

Maggie Patterson of Small Business Boss is calling a lot of truth to bullshit out there. I found her via her podcast that she has, and then my own coach doesn’t say anything about business practices, but just look at how she markets. Her name is Erica Reitman. she is my business coach.

And now, right away you’ll see what her vibe is, right? If this is the conversation you want to keep having, I strongly recommend following those people and paying attention to how they are showing up in the world and the things they are talking about.

You may not agree with everything and that’s okay. If anything, this is the start of a conversation. It is not the end of a conversation, and I myself am even seeing how much is on my website and maybe even in some of my current sales pages, and maybe even in my current easings, am I still doing some of this stuff and my willingness to be like, “oh, I see it. Okay. Yep, I see that I need to correct that.”

Transparency is the most important. I’ve loved this conversation with you. I’m so excited to see what we’re going to do in 2023. Here’s what I guarantee working with me because Path to 100k Mastermind is open. Right now, we are enrolling for the February 1st class.

This is your path to 100k. It took me 15 months to get there. It might take you a little bit longer. It might take you less time, but I guarantee more confidence. You’re going to know how you solve your client’s problems. You’re going to know how to write copy that absolutely blows their mind. You’re going to know how to tap into your gut buried instinct desires and attach that to your business goals so that you don’t feel like working in your business is such a slog.

You’re going to feel more confident in your marketing, your sales calls, your coaching calls. You’re going to be so much more sure of who the fuck you are in this world and that’s worth everything because it changes your entire life. It improves your marriage, your relationships, your life, your travel. There’s more joy in your life.

This is what I’m selling, and I believe so firmly in it, not only because it’s my own experience, but because all my clients, whether they are hitting their income goals, whether they’re having five-figure months or they’re working to get to five figures this year. They are all experiencing that level of transformation as well.

Alright, my friends, I can’t wait to see what you create in the world, and I’ll talk to you next week.

Coach, it’s time to sign your first free client, your first paid client, your next client, and to learn how to do it consistently and having a hell of a lot of fun along the way. This is exactly what you’re going to do in Free to Paid Coach. It’s the only program giving you step-by-step what to do to become a paid coach and step-by-step how to handle the roller coaster emotions that come with doing what you need to do to become a paid coach.

If you know you can’t not do this life coaching thing, but believing that you can do it, handling rejection and remembering how to do all of those things shuts you down, the Free to Paid Coach Community is waiting for you. Find everything that you’re looking for inside. It’s only $1,000. Payments are available, and then you’re in forever.

Visit www.amylatta.com/ftpc to join us right now. See you inside. Let’s get paid, coach.

Thanks so much for listening to The Confident Coaches Podcast. I invite you to learn more. Come visit me at amylatta.com and until next week, let’s go do epic stuff.


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Hi, I’m Amy.

For years, I took a ton of action to sign clients.

I learned to create self-confidence and powerfully believe in myself first, and then built a multiple six-figure coaching business.

And I can help you do it, too.

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