The secret: there is no secret

Chapter 48 • By: Rich

A couple of years ago I was invited to speak at an event for a hundred coaches and consultants who wanted to get more clients. I was one of the last speakers, on the third day.

Over the first two days we listened to a range of presenters who each told us they had the key to success. There was a woman who told us that the way to grow a successful coaching business was by speaking from the stage. And boy was she good at what she did—there were people streaming out of the room to buy her products before she’d even finished speaking!

Then there was a speaker who told us that success would follow when we wrote a book—and by the way, she had a secret system to teach us how to write a book in a weekend! Yet another speaker told us that using Facebook and Twitter was the key to success. And so they went on, each with their own special, unique way to be successful.

And it was strange. As each one spoke, I began to believe them…

Maybe I should be growing my business by speaking from the stage, or by writing a book, or by using Facebook and Twitter.

And then I caught myself.

I was doing what I often used to do in life.

I was looking for a guru, or a teacher or an expert.

Someone who would show me the Secret to Success.

A quick secret key that would help me jump over all the other steps.

But this time I caught myself.

You see, I have discovered what works.

For me.

And so, finally, I got up on stage.

But I didn’t share a secret, and I didn’t offer a system. I didn’t create any scarcity about what I had to offer. I just talked passionately about how I built a successful coaching practice with a small number of high‑paying clients with no networking events, no internet marketing, no email list, no business cards.

As well as my successes, I shared my fears and my struggles along my journey too. I told the story of how I began coaching on a beach and that my first ever client paid me $10, and that I made $4,500 in my first year of coaching. And I told the story of the marketing coach I fired when the only impact of using internet marketing was to slow down my business.

I shared some of the most powerful things I have learned about the game of creating high‑paying clients.

And people seemed fascinated. They asked tons of questions. And—with no products or even a workshop to sell—I was surprised to have a line of people wanting to talk to me at the end.

I was really moved by one woman who came up to me in tears. She said, “Thank you for letting me know I can find out what works for me and go do that. Thank you for showing me what is possible.”

And that was it. I knew I had to share what I had learned.

But there is no secret.

I know coaches who write a weekly newsletter and coaches who use internet marketing. My own coach charges $150,000 a year. You pay in advance and fly to Arizona for your face‑to‑face coaching sessions. But I also know a successful coach who will only coach over the phone in fifteen‑minute sessions. And one of the most successful women coaches I know runs workshops with three other female colleagues for powerful and unique four‑on‑one coaching sessions.

One of my friends has been a coach for over fifteen years and he will still only coach you for a maximum of three months because he puts such a high value on freedom. If you want to sign a six‑month agreement, he says (with a smile): “No. I don’t know what I’ll want to be doing in three months’ time. But if in three months you would still like coaching and I would still like to be coaching, then we’ll talk.”

Me, I rarely coach for anything less than thirteen months because I love to watch my client’s total transformation over the course of a year together.

What I love about coaching is that you get to make up how you show up.

Try stuff out.

Find out what you love.

Be creative.

Be you.

There is no secret.

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