Some of you may know I’ve just started a group on LinkedIn called Million Dollar Coach. You might ask “what is a million dollar coach?”
The title is deliberately chosen to conjure the vision of a coach charging a million dollars a year in fees. Haven’t we all had that dream, however fleetingly, from time to time. I’m serious about this though. I want to see coaches earning high six figure incomes running a single person practice with a practice manager. But that’s a by-product of being a million dollar coach. It’s not the definition.
A million dollar coach, first and foremost does million dollar work. Who, regardless of the actual fee, always acts as if the client is paying them a million dollars. They never take shortcuts. They never think “this client doesn’t deserve my best.” They continually look for ways to improve their practice. They reflect on every coaching session and ask themselves:
- what went really well in that session?
- what could I have done differently?
- is there anything I missed?
- how was my client today?
- was there some hidden message in what my client said?
- did I deserve my fee today?
- did I provide value to my client?
On a wider scale they reflect on their practice over the last day, week, month and year and ask themselves what themes they are seeing.
- What value have they provided to their clients in that period?
- How are they developing as a coach?
- What are they doing better now than in the previous period?
- What do they need to learn?
- What are the world themes coming through in their coaching?
- What part can they play in responding to those world themes?
- What professional development do they need?
- Who do they know who can help them be a better coach?
A million dollar coach has an unremitting focus on the value they provide to their clients. That doesn’t mean only monetary value but it should include it. It doesn’t necessarily mean every client gets value from working with them. The client is responsible for outcomes. But if no, or only a few, clients are getting significant value then the coach has to ask themselves how they can continue to charge fees.
Think of a doctor. Not every patient gets better. But if no patients get better (or experiences a better quality of life) then there is a problem.
As you start out today, tomorrow and every day ask yourself “How can I be a million dollar coach today.”
We don’t often think that profit has a cost. After all, profit is what is left after all the costs are accounted for.
However, I’m not thinking about the traditional relationship between income and expenses. I’m thinking about what we lose when we make a profit. Or at least when we are perceived to me making a profit at the expense of all other values.
Essentially we lose trust. And that trust costs us. It damages our brands.
I was prompted to think about this when reading this HBR article by Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones (of “Why should anyone be led by you?” fame.) They argue there is a general deficit of trust in our community. The food company puts too much salt and fat into their products and the pharmaceutical charges too much for its drugs.
We are seeing the same phenomenon in Australian politics at the moment.
So my question is “What’s the business cost of this phenomenon?” Most directly our customers will do everything they can to purchase goods and services from anyone but us. When they get to the point where there is no-one left they will take it out on us with higher support requests or return everything they can. If they get a chance to screw us they will. They think we’ve been screwing them for long enough.
On a wider scale, distrust in our political systems leads to instability and that costs us dearly.
Perhaps if we demonstrated that we are motivated by a much broader range of factors than pure profit, we might start to win some of that trust back. And then we might just make more profit!