FYII woke up early and wrote this post – I am still not feeling any “steam” for the daily journaling videos but I will post about that when I know more about what I am going to do next with that. I still want to do journaling videos, just probably not every day.
I’ve been getting a lot of feedback about my blog post about feeling conflicted about the creative/life coaching industry.
I think there is a lot more to be said.
I mean I am relieved for all the people who wrote to me to say “Oh no the pyramid-scheme types do not throw shade on you and your work – people can feel authenticity when they encounter it.”
And I believe that – to an extent.
It’s just that I too have fallen prey to buying coaching and classes from people whose sales and marketing skills far outweighed their coaching/helping skills.
And yes there were great lessons involved all around!
But it left me feeling a bit more suspicious of the whole thing.
For a while it even made me wonder – are people either good at coaching or good at business? Or are there people who are good at both – is that even possible?
And I have heard from friends who hired “very successful coaches” who told them to project an image of their ideal life so that people will buy that image – including pretending to be more successful than you are so people will buy your creative business coaching packages. Ugh.
This was when I was very new to all of this.
A few bad experiences when you’re new can be enough to put a person off the whole thing altogether.
But luckily a few bad experiences did not put me off.
And I have since met so many wonderful people doing wonderful work who have build solid businesses to support that work. And I see now in my own life that it’s true.
But I am very heartfelt about dreams and the possibility of making positive change in your life.
So when I see people take advantage of it to sell pyramid schemes or offer coaching packages that don’t actually help – it’s disheartening.
I hate for anyone to have a bad experience while genuinely trying to make a positive change in their lives – but charlatans are only a very small percentage of the people out there. And that’s not really who I’m talking about.
I mean – I am not talking about specific people at all, I am talking about the marketing and sales practices that we’re adopting as an industry.
I mean I think it’s obvious most people go into creativity coaching and life coaching because they want to make a difference. They’re good people with good intentions.
But sometimes people can rush to want to help others before they’ve taken the time to develop their skills – often before they’re even really able to help themselves.
Which is not terrible.
But it’s better to do a lot of work on your own stuff, clearing those kinds of patterns and beliefs, before attempting to help others with theirs.
Because your own stuff becomes very tangled up in your business otherwise. And sometimes those tangles will make it hard or even impossible to truly serve your client’s needs.
I have experienced that kind of coaching as well, where the coach talks mostly about themselves and don’t really pay attention to me or the thing I asked them for help with. And the kinds of coaches who need you to get something out of their work so that they can boost their own esteem.
That is one reason why it’s GOOD to grow a coaching business slowly.
Follow that genuine wish in your heart to be a force for good and that will lead you through working through the stuff you need to work through in order to be the best coach you can be.
I mean you cannot help people do something you haven’t done.
So if you feel tangled up self-worth or self-doubt or procrastination or fear or whatever…. untangle yourself before attempting to untangle others.
Learning to get and stay untangled (for me this means incorporating un-tangling work into my daily practices it does not mean I go around claiming to never get stuck) will teach you so much about the process healing and transformation and your clients will benefit from that.
And really learning that can be a long process.
In the meantime you can take some online business classes, implement everything exactly how they say to – and have this successful business.
Your business can grow beyond your skills, which sets you up to not serve your clients in the way you could if you took the time to grow your skills before your grow your business.
It diminishes your gifts. It diminishes your clients’ experiences.
And with enough people out there doing it, it can diminish people’s perspectives of the whole industry.
So – it can put people off of the whole idea of changing their lives before they ever get a chance to try it.
I think the big problem here is the culture that is being created.
So as I wrote last week – seven years ago the online creative entrepreneurship/life coaching space felt more genuine and exciting.
For people who had attempted or succeeded at building creative careers as self-employed people out in the “real world” – the way the internet was evolving was like a gold mine of possibilities.
Suddenly simple, do-able ways opened up to connect with the audience for your work – that did not exist before.
Now we kind of take for granted that anyone can “build an audience” but this is a very new thing.
And we can create this culture as a space where we honour this amazing opportunity by treating our audience with respect.
I mean it’s pretty simple, right?
We don’t have to hold back from selling – just be respectful and honest.
I mean for example I have a coaching call recording available on Launching Your Creative Projects Out Into The World for just $25 – it’s 2 hours of information and ideas for non-sleazy and truly genuine ways to get your work out there. You can find out more about that here.
And I’m doing a coaching call on procrastination tomorrow and I’ll include a little blurb on that at the bottom of this.
Yeah I know I could sell more spaces in my classes if I used more hype-y type selling tactics.
But then I’d have classes full of people who had been hyped into being there.
I LOVE my classes – there is a sense of magic in the air BECAUSE everyone who is there is ready to be there. That atmosphere is just not possible when people have been pressured to be there.
I don’t want to work with people who are feeling pressured to be there. I want to work with people who are excited and inspired to make their dreams come true.
This respects me and my work and the people who choose to engage with it – both me and the participants have a better time in my classes because everyone who is there really wants to be there.
But back to what I was saying about creating the culture.
Right now we have a LOT of good hearted, genuine, amazing people who are putting their work out there.
And we have to be conscientious about what kinds of sales and marketing tactics we choose to normalize in our industry.
I think we need to make some big changes to traditional marketing and sales tactics in order for them to suit this kind of work – it just doesn’t make sense for life coaches to be pushy!
I mean changing your life is hard enough – you have to at least WANT to do the work. If you were manipulated into it how is the coaching going to help you?
And when I say “change them to better suit our work” I mean literally change them.
Don’t just change the words.
Because there is a trend in feminine focused business stuff out there right now to use those exact same old school selling tactics and just using different words – but not actually changing the tactics.
Like a sales seminar becomes a goddess circle.
And the people doing it do not mean to be manipulative! I am sure of this!
But they make people feel safe with their language, draw them in – and then pull out those same aggressive sales tactics that are used in other industries.
It just doesn’t create the right kind of atmosphere for doing transformative work.
And it creates a really weird vibe.
I think we need to talk about this stuff because this is a fairly new industry and we still have the power to shape it.
I know I am overly idealistic but I see us being able to create this industry as a light and a beacon for other industries.
To set a higher standard for how we do business.
And THAT is why I have been feeling conflicted, because I see a bigger possibility here.
I hope you’re not procrastinating about signing up for the procrastination call I am doing tomorrow!
I mean it’s pretty cliche I know… procrastinating about dealing with your procrastination and then joking about it.
Except it’s not really funny.
Procrastination is painful. We make it into a joke so we can avoid feeling how it actually feels to not be doing what we want to be doing.
And there is another option. A better one.
You can work through the pain, shame and discomfort around your procrastination tendencies which then softens your tendency to procrastinate.
Which gives you new options. Breathing room. Space to make a different choice.
It’s pretty simple – you take charge or your procrastination or else your procrastination is in charge of you.
What is it that you really want to be doing?
Writing your book or starting a blog? Sewing a dress or going out for a walk?
Do you want to do that more than you want to avoid dealing with your procrastination?
If yes – consider coming to my group coaching call on procrastination. It’s happening live online tomorrow but it will be recorded if you can’t be there live.