Business coaches are annoying. It might seem really weird that someone who also coaches businesses would say that but I’ve had it with the shady practices of some business coaches. Let me give you an example and then I’ll explain why I think it’s unhelpful to clients.
Picture yourself as a new (or even established coach) and you suddenly get a friend request or a request to connect for someone you’ve never talked to and don’t know. You accept it because maybe it’s a potential client trying to connect. Next you get a DM asking a lot of questions about your business. It usually starts with something seemingly uncontroversial like “How’s business?”. The questions will follow along the lines of what are you prioritizing in your business, how are you implementing that, what are you struggling with currently and so on. Does this sound familiar?
The next step is, of course, the pitch. They’ll try to get you to join their Facebook group or schedule a call to learn about their system that will take you to $10k months in 30 days or sign 3 new clients next week, etc. Of course, it sounds like a good deal. Who wouldn’t want to grow their spirituality-based business like that? So what’s the problem here?
In my opinion, there’s really 3 things that make this type of pitch problematic—it’s creepy, it misrepresents itself as coaching and it doesn’t serve the client. Let’s explore each of those for a moment.
These business coaches use a creepy approach.
We’ve all heard about the many scams out there. We constantly hear that we should be cautious about what information we give out to strangers. If someone out of the blue (who wasn’t a coach) started asking you detailed questions about your business, would you just offer up that information? So why does a business coach think that you should or would? Especially if you haven’t had any kind of relationship or connection to them before.
I’ve come to really dislike out of the blue messages asking about my business. I simply don’t answer them or I politely inform them that I’m not interested in discussing the details of my business with a stranger. At the root, that’s exactly the issue. They’re a stranger yet they want to get personal about your business. That feels creepy.
The business coaches misrepresent consulting as coaching
The International Coaching Federation defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a though-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”. Coaching is a process in which the coach helps the client get clarity on their situation, who they want to be in the situation, and how they can achieve their goals.
The kind of business coaching I’m describing is focused on teaching the client a system and having them move through a set sequence of steps in that system. Many of these programs offer very little interaction with the actual “coach” as they’re primarily courses being sold as coaching. Some of them may offer coaching but it’s always related to how the client is implementing the system no necessarily on moving their business forward.
Oh! And the system they’re teaching? You must likely got a preview of it when they friended you out of the blue and then followed up with private messages asking questions about your business. If that doesn’t feel like something you want to do to market your business, that business coach probably doesn’t have anything else to offer you.
These business coaches don’t serve the client.
This is the big one for me. This type of business coaching isn’t really interested in the client at all other than as a sale. The system is predetermined, and the “coaching” is all about the client learning to implement the system. They may even do some light coaching around the clients struggles with the system. In contrast, a true client-driven coach will work with the client to determine what’s blocking them from building their business. They’ll work with the client to find solutions that are aligned for the client.
They’ll help the client hold themselves accountable to taking action. One size does not fit all. Client’s need guidance that fits them and their business. A more client-focused coach will support the client in creating their own system that fits who they are and what they want in their business.
I understand why these pitches can seem attractive. Sometimes, we just want the quick fix which is often what these types of business coaches offer—a one size fits all solution that will quickly solve the problem. I get it. I’ve fallen for it in the past too. I spent thousands on a program that at its core, didn’t fit me or my energy. It didn’t feel authentic or connected to who I am and how I want to show up in my business. I still get these pitches. Sometimes 2-3 per day. These people are making money but sadly, the majority of their clients are not. And that’s why I think business “coaches” are annoying.
Want some help with figuring out marketing your spiritual business without an annoying business coach, I have a blog post on just that subject.
PS: I thought this cat looked a lot like the face I make when one of these annoying business coaches slides into my DMs.