Is Coaching All It's Cracked up to Be? What to Know Before Investing.


"Achieve $6K Months in 90 days!"
"Get a Celebrity Beach Body in Only 30 Minutes a Day!"
"Build Your Dream Biz with Only a $49 Investment!"

These days the internet is full of lofty promises and many of them are coming from Coaches, Consultants and Experts. As consumers, how can we distinguish where attraction marketing crosses into that gray zone of misrepresentation - or worse - flat out lying? Even as a Business Strategist, it's something I've struggled with when investing in Coaches or trainings for myself.

So how do you know whether a program or product is actually worth the investment of time and money? How can you be sure you'll achieve the results you desire?

Honestly, no one can make that guarantee - so if they do, run! - but here are some good guidelines to consider before hiring a coach or purchasing a training program:

There's No Magic Pill. Period.
This seems ridiculously obvious, and yet we're still watching webinars about the next marketing strategy to bring in $200,000 in one launch and buying videos that claim they'll teach us how to firm up our abs in only 10 minutes a day, without crunches...and then feeling disappointed and giving up after we put in a total of 20 hours and it hasn't worked for us.

While it's possible to achieve impressive results, no matter how effective the training is, YOU must still take consistent, intentional action over TIME.

And even then, there is NO cookie cutter solution that works for everyone, in every industry, with any background...otherwise we'd all be thin, happy, celebrity-beautiful, perfect parents with angelic children, running million-dollar businesses that sell while we sleep, while we travel to our own private islands.

Hmm... doesn't sound too shabby...

What's the REAL problem?
If you don't understand your underlying problem, you risk only targeting the symptoms, which always results in sub-par, inconsistent results.

For example, if you're an entrepreneur with a great solution but people aren't buying, it could be that your messaging is too boring or vague. Or the issue could be where you're advertising and how often. Or you could be attracting consumers but losing them in the sales conversation. If you didn't understand that the real issue was in your offering, you could make the mistake of hiring a designer to make your website more attractive and then be disappointed when your sales don't increase.

Whether business or personal, a good coach will be able to go deep and identify the underlying issue, and also any personal beliefs and emotions which are contributing to the issue. Additionally, they'll speak with you to ensure they're the right person before taking the job, and if not they'll provide referrals.

Put the Stories in Context
Many coaches use success stories - their own and clients' - to stand out in a crowded marketplace. If it seems too good to be true, you're probably missing a good chunk of the story.

For example, everyone I've met with a "$0 to $X Thousands in 90 days" story already had a business running (unsuccessfully) for a while before they turned that corner. Don't expect to be making $5K by the end of Month One if you're starting a brand new venture. It's possible, but if you don't, it doesn't mean you're doing something wrong.

Typical parts of the story that are missing include: the time BEFORE people started achieving success, the total amount of money and time invested, support (family or staff)/ partnerships/ influential relationships, past experience, other action they took beyond the program/product being sold, etc.

Understand Potential Cost vs. Results
Remember taglines are typically best-case scenarios . Consider the best, average, and worst-case results before making a decision.

If you got average results would you still be in a better place than you're at now?
Would you consider that result acceptable for the amount of time and money you'd need to invest?
Are there other options available that you may want to consider?

For example, if your investment is $2,000 and you'll get a return of $15,000 that year, that might sound great. But what if another program costing $5,000 will bring you a return of $50,000 for a year? Both would be good investments, but the $5,000 investment will actually earn you a higher rate of return, even though it's more expensive up front. And that extra profit is only based on one year. Imagine when it multiplies...

When considering results, some results don't have an exact price tag. In those cases, consider:
A) Future Cost of not fixing problem. Ex: If you don't get healthier, you could end up spending thousands on increased insurance and hospital bills for the rest of your life.
B) Emotional Cost: the drain of energy to you or your loved ones due to the issue. How much would it be worth to you to step out of overwhelm and be calm and fully present with your kids? To have FUN again? How much to not have your spouse worry about your health? Would it be worth your morning latte? Or the new car you were eyeing up?

What's YOUR Style?
How do you learn best? While a do-at-your-own-pace module-based course might be convenient, if you learn best through interaction, it's not going to be the best solution for YOU no matter how great the reviews by others. Likewise if you learn best visually and by working through structured exercises, you'd do best with modules and workbooks vs. one with only group calls.

How many programs have you signed up for and never completed? Do you always wait until the last possible moment to complete assignments? If you know you procrastinate, desire feedback on your work, or are more motivated when accountable to someone else, you'll likely be best suited to a program with some 1-1 accountability.

Always understand the exact components and delivery of all elements of the program to ensure it's aligned with your personal learning style before committing.

Are you EXCITED?
Before you invest your money and trust in someone to guide you to your ultimate goals, do you actually LIKE this person? I mean, "want to trust them with your deepest insecurities" like them? When things get tough and you still have 5 more months to complete and you failed to get a client or are overwhelmed by past fears and self-doubt, will they inspire you to keep going?

What does your gut say? And do you - and your branding - resonate with their personal brand and style? Will you be proud to say you work with them? Before you make a decision, talk with them personally; any reputable coach will offer a free Discovery Session for potential clients.

If you're still struggling to find your ideal solution, feel free to reach out to our team at