When I started my hypnotherapy practice back in early 2010 I was nervous, yet filled with passion. My desire to help people truly transform their lives was undeniably a motivating force and pushed me beyond the nagging fears, doubts and insecurities I had. As my business grew and I transitioned into coaching I invested in a lot of programs and coaches. Often I would ‘drink the Kool Aid’ as they say and bought into much of the hype and over inflated income claims. When the actions I was taught to take weren’t paying off, I questioned myself … “What is wrong with me?” “Why can’t I get results like everyone else?” “It must be my mindset or my beliefs, or maybe I am not working hard enough … investing enough” … and on and on …
While I was working with individual clients in my coaching practice, creating digital products for my online store, and facilitating group programs (not to mention public speaking and doing all of my own marketing), I was simultaneously helping other entrepreneurs and small businesses with their marketing and sales as a freelance consultant. Some of those clients (who will not be named) are also in the coaching industry. So in addition to my firsthand experience buying expensive coaching and training programs, I worked in the proverbial trenches for others in the coaching industry; and what I discovered was … this industry has some really great qualities, but it is also filled with total B.S.
One of the common themes – and I’ve even said it to my own clients (I apologize) – is that you have to invest big money to up level your business. That is simply NOT true. I have watched so many well-meaning individuals invest money they did not have based on the false promise of success from various gurus and coaches. The reality is, if you are not aligned with what you are investing in, whether it is because the product, program or service is not the right fit for you/your business, or because you are so stressed about spending the money that all you can think is lack based thoughts, then you are setting yourself up for failure.
Now to be fair, if you are aligned, then by all means Invest! It will pay off big time. Unfortunately, many people in my industry are more concerned about financial gain than your well-being. That rubs me the wrong way. As I was helping sell very expensive programs to people who clearly were not aligned, I got a bad taste for the coaching industry as a whole. It is not that we as consumers shouldn’t be responsible for our decision to invest, or that the self-proclaimed gurus shouldn’t be profitable, only that if someone is clearly not right for a program because it makes no financial sense or they are not ready to benefit from it … then have a conscience and do not enroll them in the program. At very least, provide an out for a consumer if the program is not the right fit.
These are tricky subjects in any industry, and a topic that should be addressed within every organization or small business. It comes down to the company’s ethics. Establishing clear boundaries for each client/customer interactions is important – for both the provider and the consumer. Not every subject is black and white. However, as far as my industry is concerned, there seems to be far too much emphasis on charging premium prices than there is on creating value. For me personally, it created an internal conflict, which in turn caused me to change my pricing model and even back away from private clients for a while. However, in every adversity is the seed of opportunity, and because of my personal stance on my industry I have created pricing strategies, packages and programs that fit my ethical requirements.
Regardless of what industry you are in, it is important to do business in a way that is congruent with you. Be honest with yourself about your values and your priorities. It is okay to stray from the norm; in fact, it can be really valuable for your business. You do not have to be like everyone else. Be you! Do it proudly. Life is supposed to be fun and business is not separate from life. There should not be a separate set of ethics in business. We are human first and foremost, let’s treat each other with love, kindness and respect.