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Coaching the Suicidal Client

Disclaimer: I have NOT been certified by any organization to specifically deal with suicide. In this post, I am simply sharing my thoughts for discussion purposes, based on my certification methods, being applied to a suicidal client. Do NOT take these thoughts as “the way to coach suicidal clients” as there is no such thing. I in no way am endorsing that you follow this method in any way. Suicide is a very serious situation to be handled delicately. If you have contact with someone who claims to be suicidal, I would suggest you refer them to professional services unless you are 100% confident and equipped to continue with the coaching.


There’s no tiptoeing around the topic of suicide.  It might come up with your clients, and you have to be prepared to handle it.

New coaches sometimes hold themselves back because they don’t know what to say or do in certain circumstances – suicidal situations included.  Know that when you understand the processes in neuro-transformational coaching, you will be one step ahead of the client.  It’s important that you don’t compare yourself to other coaches.  If you have to compare, compare yourself to the client – not because you’re better than them, but because you’ve trained yourself as a coach who serve them.

So how can you serve someone who’s suicidal?

Say Suicide

When words and phrases are being used that identify suicide is being considered by a client, you have to call it out.  Often suicidal people don’t come right out and say they want to commit suicide or kill themselves.  Instead, they may beat around the bush and use phrases like, “not being here,” “going away for good,” “when it’s all over,” etc.   

As the coach, you must start using the word suicide and the phrase kill yourself, with rapport, so they know you hear them and understand the intensity of what they are talking about.  Armed with sensitivity, ask questions to determine the severity of the situation.  See if you can get their perspective on what suicide is, what it means to them, and even if they have made any plans.

The reality, I believe, is that no one wants to kill themselves, the just want the pain to stop.

Suicide comes up as a solution to stopping the pain when people feel hopeless and helpless and desperate.  So as a coach, you’ve got to figure out how to get the client to see hope, help and deliverance from the desperation.  That doesn’t mean you are saving them – you are trying to help them save themselves.

Identify the Issue

Now that you’ve established the severity of the situation, the first step is to help the client identify what the actual issue is; what’s causing them to feel hopeless, helpless and desperate.  This step follows the I.G.N.I.T.E. framework I’ve shared before (https://www.coachesupdate.com/i-g-n-i-t-e-coaching-framework/).  In this situation, you want to make sure to get through the entire framework before ending the session with the client.

Next would be to Get Leverage &  Permission.  Once you have permission to coach them around this, you want to create New Outcomes – and in this case, non-suicidal thoughts.  In order to get there, you have to help the client through some Inner Work.  Based on what the client identified as the issue that’s led to the suicidal thoughts, the inner work strategy can be determined.  After doing the inner work, it’s important to Test & Connect to make sure there’s been a significant shift.  Finally, you must Empower to Succeed – make sure the client has a plan following the coaching session to move forward with a purpose.

Example to Explain

Examples are the best tools to use to teach how to handle certain situations, and this situation is no exception.  Bear in mind that no two situations are alike, and must be handled according to the unique and specific circumstances you encounter.

In a recent conversation with a client, who mentioned feeling like she was “in a rut,” I engaged her with questions and heard her using passive phrases alluding to suicide, so I called her on it.  I already had rapport with this person, and I was on the phone with her, so I knew she wasn’t in danger of doing something drastic at that moment I mentioned it.

After the acknowledgement of the severity of the situation, we worked to identify the real issue.  In her situation, she was struggling with knowing she had internal value to offer, but not feeling like she was in the right environment to use that value.  She had done several things to try and find a suitable environment or organization to utilize her values, but felt none of them were bringing to fruition the “fit” she desired.  She was at a loss for what to do next, so that’s what had her feeling helpless and hopeless, and a little desperate.  

Once I received permission to coach her, I came up with an analogy in our conversation:  You’re not searching for who you are, or your puzzle piece, instead, you’re looking for the puzzle peace – what you experience when you find the right puzzle.  This analogy created an immediate mInd shift for her.  Based on her verbalized response, I know she was already in the new outcome we desired: no longer suicidal, and that she had already done the inner work and shifted when she heard and integrated that simple analogy with her situation.  (Note that this was a well-seasoned client, who had already done lots of inner work previously.)

We talked a bit further to test & make sure the suicidal feelings had left.  Now the most important piece was making sure she had a plan to help her move forward, one that would hopefully keep her from falling back into those harmful feelings.  This is where I walked her through the final part of the I.G.N.I.T.E. framework, Empower to Succeed.

Since she was having difficulty finding an organization right for her, we discussed that  until she finds it, something will feel “off” unless she controls her feelings  Thus, we talked about her ability to find joy in any environment, and that begins with finding the joy within.  

Parting Thoughts

In the example I shared with my client, everything boiled down to controlling her feelings.  This is the reality – we all control our experience of the world.  What we experience is always within us.  We can be in a poisonous environment and still find joy.  We can be in a turbulent environment and find stability within.  It’s not always easy, but it is always possible.

The key to the coaching session with a suicidal client was diving in and exploring elements of depression and it’s ingredients.  The coaching was about fostering conversation.  Neuro-transformational Coaching is about the willingness and ability to ask questions to explore what’s going on so people can untie their own knots, no matter how deep or how tightly they are tied.  When people speak for themselves, they can reframe stories, dislodge feelings in their body, and empower their environments.

Whether you are already an established coach or want to become a coach, we can help you feel comfortable working with all types of clients and situations.  Schedule a personal one-on-one call to find out what the next steps would be for you.  Simply visit https://calendly.com/ecu/elitecoachinguniversity-eccp/ to get your complimentary session now, or email info@CoachSeanSmith.com.

The I.G.N.I.T.E. Coaching Framework

As coaches, want to I.G.N.I.T.E. our clients.  We want to fire them up and keep fueling that flame so it burns brightly for all to see, and lights the path to achieving their goals & dreams.  To help make this happen, the I.G.N.I.T.E. framework was created to guide coaches as they work with their clients.  Here’s what it entails, with an explanation of each to follow:

Identify
Get Leverage &  Permission
New Outcomes
Inner Work
Test & Connect
Empower to Succeed
Identify

At the beginning of each coaching relationship, you want to interact with your clients and begin to understand their models of the world without judgment.  You don’t have to agree with them, but you have to understand so you can help them as a coach.

Understanding their models of the world will help you build rapport, too.  Rapport is a deep connection between two people that allows trust & responsiveness.  If your client does not trust or respond to you, it will be impossible to coach them.

When you do have rapport, though, you can call your clients out and question things.

So how do you understand your client’s models of the world in order to build rapport?  There are several ways, including listening to their language, using sensory acuity, and understanding learning styles.  

Listening to your client’s language is critical.  Their language gives you clues to what their beliefs are.  Many coaches are unaware of the the lessons language provides, and so they are careless with their own language, and not tuning in to their clients’ language.  As a coach, you can distinguish yourself when you use language as a tool for transformation.

Using sensory acuity means staying present and really truly connected with someone.  This involves eye patterns, breathing, and body language.  With sensory acuity, you can notice the shifts clients undergo and tailor coaching to how they’re responding.

When it comes to learning styles, there are 4 main styles: visual, auditory, kinesthetic and auditory/digital, which means logically oriented.  If you know your client’s learning style, you can coach them more effectively.  If you don’t know, it’s important to cycle through the different learning styles while coaching in order to increase rapport.

Get Leverage & Permission

In addition to identifying the best ways to build rapport with your clients, you also want to get leverage and permission.  Leverage is simply knowing the reason why someone might want to change.

Having leverage gives you an advantage as a coach.  You can remind them why they want to change when the get off track or stop taking action.  It can help you provide the push you need to get them going in the right direction.

But the push won’t matter if you don’t have permission.  If you try to coach someone who hasn’t given you permission, there will be resistance.  The way to get permission is simple: ask for it when you see an opportunity to offer your coaching.  There are many ways you could ask, but here are 2 simple questions you can ask to get permission to coach:

  1. Is this something you want help with right now?
  2. Do I have your permission to coach you through this?

Many people want help, even if they don’t know how to ask for it.  So it’s up to you as the coach to ask if you can give them help.  If they say no, don’t push them on it.  Stop, and you will have an opportunity to ask again later.  If they say yes, you have permission to coach.

New Outcomes

When you start to coach someone, it’s important to know what they want, what new outcomes they hope to achieve.  A simple way to figure this out is to ask, “what do you want?”  You want the client to say in their words what they want, so you have a better chance to coach them successfully to where they want to go.  

Start with the end in mind, and ask both short & long term questions:

  • short term, you’re looking to see what they want to achieve at the end of a coaching session, for example  
  • long term, you’re seeking to know what they hope to accomplish by the end of the coaching contract or program

Once you know the desired new outcomes, then you can use your coaching skills and start the inner work.

Inner Work

Up until this point, you’ve been asking questions & understanding your clients.  Now,  it’s reach into your coaching tool box and find the best tools to create transformation for your client(s).  Transformation requires internal shifts at a core level of beliefs, strategies, identities, habits, language, emotions and value.

There are many ways to perform this inner work, but the most successful, in my opinion, is through neuro-transformational coaching.  Call to find out more: 805-552-4423.

Test & Connect

Once the inner work has been done, you want to test to see if it sticks.  When you are working with a client, one of the things you can do in the moment is future pace.  Have them imagine doing what they were afraid to do, for example, and see if the fears come up.  If they do, there’s more work to be done.  If not, have them test it for real. 

This is part of the constant assessment you want to do as a coach.  Keep checking in and find out if the fears come up when they are taking action, not just imagining it.

Testing is one ongoing piece of coaching, and connection is another part.  Help clients connect with new patterns & habits they’ve developed, and really notice and nurture the changes.  Prompt clients to pay attention to their progress, because the tendency is to look forward and see how far there is to go vs. look back and see how far they’ve come.   When you call to attention the progress, it will connect clients to how much the coaching is working for them.

Empower to Succeed

Of course, clients will know the coaching is working for them if they have been empowered to succeed.  As a coach, what good have you done if you shift their mindset but don’t give them any success on their path?  

Five keys to empowering clients to succeed are:

  1. create a personalized game plan – what has their name on it and is not just a general road map for anyone?  Your coaching should be tailored to them.
  2. “check & choose” – check in with clients, and ask about results with new habits.  Choose is where clients continue with current habits if they are having success, or choose differently if desired results are not there.  This encourages fluidity & flexibility.
  3. establish supportive environments – most people try to get their goals through willpower alone, but it’s impossible if environments are not supportive.  Help clients establish supportive environments.
  4. begin & end on high note – each coaching session should start with what’s new & good, for example.  Get the client engaged in what’s working right away, so they feel empowered at the start.  At the end of each session, check for completion.  If there isn’t a sense of completion, figure out a way to provide it.  For example, give assignments to help provide progress until you talk again.  Finally, end each session on high note.  You can compliment the client for their work during the session, or have them share something they are grateful for.
  5. create accountability – it’s hard for anyone to hold themselves accountable, so as a coach, you have to give your clients an opportunity for accountability.  This could be as simple as setting goals for them to achieve by the next time you talk, or a method of daily check-ins, or something in between.  What works best is what your client will commit to, so be flexible and yet firm.

Ready to I.G.N.I.T.E. Your Coaching?

Whether you are already an established coach or working to ignite your coaching business, we can help you.  Schedule a personal one-on-one call with a certified coach to find out how.  Simply visit https://calendly.com/ecu/elitecoachinguniversity-eccp/ to get your complimentary session now, or email info@CoachSeanSmith.com.

A Coach’s Most Valuable Asset

As a coach, or an aspiring coach, you have many assets of value: your uniqueness, your insight, your training, your mindset, your mentality, and your drive, just to name a few.  But your most valuable asset as a coach is not yours at all; it is the perspective of your seeker. 

Even though your abilities as a coach may allow you to help everyone, if you don’t have a clearly defined calling and market to serve, your message will be lost on the masses.  You need a select audience to serve & sell to, and the best way to build it is to get clear on a single seeker.  

How Do You Find Your Seeker?

The more vague you are in your marketing, the less attractive you’ll be to anyone.  When your message is meant to speak to everyone, no one will feel like you are speaking directly to them.  The more specific you speak to a seeker, the more attractive you will be, even to someone who is not your seeker.  People will be able to feel you talking directly to someone, and even if it’s not a message meant for them, the focus and clarity are still attractive.  Plus, there may be bits and pieces of what you say that does speak to them, or they may relate to what you’re saying in some way.

So how do you find out who your seeker is?

One way is to complete a market matrix template.  If you already feel called to work with certain people, or have an intuitive feeling you know who you’re meant to serve, I still recommend you do this exercise.

Create a spreadsheet or a grid on a piece of paper.  Across the top, make columns for:

Market List     Income Potential     Time to Market     Confidence/Knowledge     Passion     Ease/Lifestyle     Total

Underneath the heading Market List, write down potential markets that you can go after.  Who has asked you to work with them?  Who do you want to serve?  Who do you wish you could work with?  There are great questions to answer in order to generate a list to start.  Any of the markets you list could be your seeker, but completing the matrix can help you identify the best seeker to start serving.  

For fun, here are a few examples of markets you could list: single parents of sons, female engineers with MBAs, or men who like to bake.  There is no limit to who you can work with, and the more specific you can be, the better.

Next, rank each market on the income potential you feel they have.  Put a 1 next to the market with the highest income potential, a 2 next to the second highest, and so on, until you have ranked them all to the best of your ability.  (You could stop yourself here and say you need to do research to answer this accurately, but I recommend you keep going and just give them all a ranking, even if it seems arbitrary.)

Third, think about how much time it will take you to tap into each market.  Again, give them rankings, with 1 going to the market you could penetrate the fastest, and so on.

In the fourth column, give each market listed your confidence & knowledge ranking, with the market you know and feel most confident about scoring a 1, and continue until you’ve completed the list.

The fifth column is my favorite, and is where I want you to rank your passion for each market.  Assign a 1 to the market you are most passionate about, and number the others accordingly.

Now give ranking to each market based on your perception of how easy it would be for you to do and/or how well it fits into the lifestyle you want to create.  Start with 1 for the easiest or best fit, and a 2 for the next, etc.

Finally, add up the ranks you assigned in each column for every market you listed, and put it in the Total column.  

Whatever market received the lowest total ranking is the recommended market for you to pursue, and I want you to also consider how this intellectual process compares to your intuition.

Completing the market matrix template is a powerful exercise to help you decide what market to target first.  The next step is to start talking to the people you’ve identified.

Why Is Your Seeker’s Perspective Your Most Valuable Asset?

You literally want to start talking to your seeker.  You want to interview people who fit your seeker’s description to find out what makes them tick, what they think, what they want, what they fear, what they buy and why.  Their perspective is the best, most valuable asset you can have, because it will help you tailor your marketing and messages to something they will relate to and act upon.  

When you know what your seeker’s problems are and you can offer solutions as their coach, you can speak to them directly.  What can you offer them that they will find valuable?  Here’s a key to remember: People will buy from you when they know you understand them, not when they understand you.

It’s not about you simply sharing your message with the world.  People might understand your message when you do, but it won’t get them to take action.  However, when your message speaks to your seeker, they feel understood, and the impact is positive and full of potential.  Watch them follow where you lead. 

Want Help Identifying Your Seeker?

Now you know how important it is to identify your seeker and their unique perspective of the world.   Whether you are already a coach working to grow your business or aspiring to become a coach and build a new business, we can help.  Schedule a personal one-on-one call with a certified coach to find out how.  Simply visit https://calendly.com/ecu/elitecoachinguniversity-eccp/ to get your complimentary session now, or call 805-552-4423 or email info@CoachSeanSmith.com.

How to Create Recurring Revenue in Your Coaching Business

There are many ways to create recurring revenue in your coaching business, but I will focus on two:

  1. Provide payment plans
  2. Create continuity programs

I’ll talk about each in detail, but before I do, I want to make sure that you’ve built a solid foundation.  

If your reason for starting a coaching business is to pursue your passion to help others, be of service, and be a force for improvement in the world, then your foundation is firm.  But if you built a business focused on making money, your foundation is flimsy.  

In a firm foundation, the energy is attractive, where in the flimsy foundation, the energy is repulsive.  Which one do you think will create greater income opportunities for you?

When you venture into creating recurring revenue, the same energy dynamic is true.  If the offering is about what you can provide and the value you have to offer, it will be more successful than a program concerned about what you will get.

Why Recurring Revenue?

What you will get with recurring revenue is a bit of freedom.  In order for your business to be successful, you must make money.  When you create a consistent cashflow model that generates recurring income, it can help ease your mind and reduce financial pressure, which frees you up to do what inspires you.  Now let’s get into the two options.  

1 – Payment Plans Provide a Positive Push

Offering payment plan options is a great way to generate recurring revenue.  Providing payment plan options is especially easy when you’re selling services such as coaching that don’t have many costs associated with them.  

Payment plan options can also increase your reach among buyers, as some people may be interested in working with you but don’t have the cash or credit available to invest a full payment for your services.  

For example, if you provide a coaching program for $1250, you can offer the option of paying monthly for the duration of the program.  If it’s a 6 month program, you can charge $250 per month for 6 months.  The total investment with the payment plan is $1500, which brings in 20% more because you charge interest on this option.

Another approach is to price the program at $1500 and pitch the payment plan at what appears to be no interest, then offer a discount for those paying in full at $1250.

2 – Continuity Programs Create Consistent Cashflow

A second way to create recurring income is to offer a continuously ongoing program for a monthly fee, such as  training videos, online audios, physical products, group coaching, etc.  

When it comes to continuity programs, consumption is the critical key.  Will they use it?  You can have something that has a great value, but if they’re not consuming, they won’t get the value and they won’t stay in the program.

There’s also the question of how to sell it.  There are several options:

  • offer as a one-click up-sell = when they buy something, you offer this in addition
  • stand-alone program = sell it all by itself  
  • built-in = free trial with the option to continue or cancel

When you create a continuity program, there are big benefits beyond the financial for you, too:

  • It keeps you in the game.  
  • It keeps you creating on a regular basis.  
  • It helps you stay engaged with your crowd.  
  • Gives you content and information to use in other ways – blogs, articles, audio clips, video clips, etc.

Want Help?

Now you know a couple options to create recurring cashflow and the benefits to you as a coach.   Whether you are already a coach or aspiring to be a coach, we can help you with all aspects of your business.  Book a personal one-on-one call with a certified coach to find out how we can help you best.  Visit https://calendly.com/ecu/elitecoachinguniversity-eccp/ to schedule your complimentary session now, or call 805-552-4423 or email info@CoachSeanSmith.com.

THE Most Important Trait to Have as a Life Coach

Do you know the most important trait to have as a life coach?  It’s CERTAINTY.

What Is Certainty?

Certainty is defined as a strong conviction that something is true.  As a coach, you say to  people, in these exact words or in essence, “I can help you.”  But if you do this with any level of uncertainty, it’s going to be tough for anyone to hire you as a coach.  You’ve got to have confidence and belief that what you’re saying is true, so they can have confidence coaching with you.

This certainty can be broken down into three aspects, from that sentence, “I can help you.”

  1. Self = I
  2. Skills = can help
  3. Seeker = you

These three aspects are the foundation of confidence in your marketing, which is critical for it’s success.  If your marketing doesn’t have confidence, it’s useless or possibly even harmful, as you’ll learn.  But first, let’s look at each aspect of certainty first.

Certainty in Self

You’ve got to be certain in yourself.  If you don’t have certainty that you are someone who can lead, deliver a message, etc., no one is going to follow you.  Here are some tips to help you feel certain about yourself:

  • You are a GUIDE.  You don’t have to know everything or be without problems in order to coach.  You simply need to be able to guide others.
  • Just need to be one step ahead.  Being one step ahead gives you the ability to turn around and help whoever is following you.
  • Show up to serve.  When you focus on marketing, sales, closing, etc., it’s  all promotion, which causes fears to rise within you.  But when you show up to serve, your fears & doubts will go away.
  • Best coaching trait: curiosity There are important skills for coaches to have, but when it comes to helping others, the best thing you can be is curious.
  • Never compare yourself to other experts.  This comparison will only create doubt within you.  Instead, compare yourself to someone a couple steps behind you, or to your prior self.
  • Clear your mirror & keep growing.  You need this in order to be authentic, transparent, present with other people.  If you’ve got stuff going on inside, you’re not going to be able to help other people as effectively.  You’ve got to consistently and constantly evolve.  When you continue to grow, it helps your clients see you’re serious about leading them, and they will continue to follow.

Certainty in Skills

For you to have certainty that you can help someone, you have to have certainty in your skills.  Any doubt in your mind will come out in your energy and voice.   Here are a few suggestions to help you harness certainty in your skills.

  • Listen to understand, not fix.  Even when you’ve been hired as a coach, you have to have rapport with your clients.  You can’t just tell them what to do or how to do it.  When you understand them you will know how to help them best.
  • Must have a framework – for you and the client.  A framework allows you to illuminate the path you ask them to walk with you.  I’ll share more on this in another article.
  • Get certified in belief change.  If you cannot help someone change their beliefs, all you can do is tell them what to do.  Inner beliefs are what cause problems for people and the reason they seek coaching.  If you want to have influence and the ability to help people transform, you need the ability to change beliefs.
  • Practice, practice, practice!  If you don’t continue sharpening your skill set, your skills will get stale.  Coaching is an art form that gets better as you practice.

Certainty in Seeker

Your seeker is someone desperately seeking the knowledge you have.  You’ve got to be clear who the person is you want to serve.  This is the most important piece of your marketing!  It allows people to feel like you’re talking directly to them.  Here are some suggestions for creating certainty in your seeker:

  • People buy when they know that you understand them.  Your prospect doesn’t need to understand you as much as they need to know you understand them.
  • Your language will be more magnetic & marketable.  A big mistake often made in marketing is trying to speak to many people at once, which causes the message to be vague & unattractive.  When you are certain of your seeker, your language can reflect it.
  • Sell what they want to learn, not what you want to teach.  Most coaches sell what they want to teach, instead of what their seeker wants to learn.  But your seeker will buy what they want to learn, so it’s best to market from their perspective.
  • Most valuable asset:  your seeker’s perspective.  When you really truly understand their model of the world – their fears, desires and wants, you can really create a message meant for them.

What’s Next?

Gain the certainty in these three areas, then from that place, start building your marketing, social media, community, etc.  If you don’t have certainty inside, the more marketing you do, the more exposure you will have, and the more your doubt is going to block you, overwhelm you, and make it easier for you to quit.

When you have confidence & certainty in these things, it becomes part of you!  The more rooted you are in your message, the easier it will be for you to market successfully.

Without certainty, nothing else matters much.

 Whether you are already a coach or aspiring to be a coach, we can help you increase your certainty in yourself, your skills, and your seeker.  To find out how we can help you best, book a personal one-on-one call with a certified coach to talk about what will work for you.  Visit https://calendly.com/ecu/elitecoachinguniversity-eccp/ to schedule your complimentary session now, or call 805-552-4423 or email info@CoachSeanSmith.com.

[Article] The 6 Step Framework for Coaching Transformation

As C.S. Lewis says, “Experience… the most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.” 

Having been a full time coach for seven years now, and immersing myself in what truly makes the difference in people’s lives, I want to give you my “Transformation Framework” that EXPERIENCE has proven creates lasting change.

This framework will take you from A-Z in the process of truly creating transformation in someone’s life.

The end result:  You I.G.N.I.T.E their soul, their heart, and the core truth!

THEREFORE, THE FRAMEWORK IS IN THE ACRONYM:
I.G.N.I.T.E

I – IDENTIFY 

You cannot move anyone from point A to point B without identifying their model of the world first. In this stage you are an investigator with ferocious curiosity.

The best way to influence someone is to find out what already influences them!

This is where you become a “master questioner,” and you’re gaining ultimate rapport because your client needs to know you understand them!

Some of what you might be looking for: what influences them, what they REALLY want, what they value, what they fear, what are their rules, what is their identity, what is their environment, what is their “story”, etc.

If you’re doing any in-person coaching, this is also where you might be looking for their representational systems (a more advanced topic) through their physiology and language. But even if coaching via phone, matching and mirroring someone’s communication style is an ultimate rapport builder, and will allow you to influence your client more effectively.

People like people who are like themselves!

G – GET LEVERAGE AND PERMISSION

If your client is facing a challenge, but has zero desire to move from where they are, no amount of coaching is going to work.  You must have leverage to be influential.

Change is never a matter of ability, but always a matter of motivation.

So, we do two things before any change work can happen. We must discover resources that will commit them to solving their problem (leverage).  And we want to ask permission from our clients if they want our help to change NOW.

KEYS TO THIS PROCESS:

  • The greatest leverage comes from wherever they have IMMEDIATE pain NOW, and IMMEDIATE pleasure NOW.
  • Knowing the person’s highest values is usually where you’ll find the greatest emotion.
  • Realize you are NOT serving the client if you let them out of totally associating to their pain. That’s ultimately what will move them, so you want to identify it, associate them with it, and even enhance it in a future setting if they don’t change NOW.

SOME BASIC QUESTIONS CAN INCLUDE:

  • If you don’t do this, what will it mean?
  • If you don’t change this, what will it cost you?
  • What is missing? What are you missing out on now and in the future?
  • Who will the pattern or behavior hurt?

N – NEW OUTCOMES

Once the person is committed to their change, the next step is for THEM to identify what they’d rather be thinking, feeling, or experiencing instead.

The goal in the new outcome stage is that they feel their change is not only possible, but they have a new destination that’s solvable and realistic for them.

Make sure they are crystal clear about their new desired outcome. You may have to help them with this by asking some great questions.

Most people focus so much on what they don’t want, they aren’t clear about what they DO want.

I – INNER WORK

This stage is where you’re doing the internal work to help tip the switch for real, long lasting change.

The end outcome in this stage is replacing the old belief, identity, story, meaning, pattern, strategy or emotion with a new one that serves the client better. This work is all “under the surface” since our external results are always a result of our core beliefs or inner framework.

I believe the best tools for this comes from NLP (Neuro-Lingustic Programming).  I facilitate a coaching for coaches’ course all over the country on this topic because there are no problems I’ve ever encountered that cannot be cleared through NLP work. But it obviously takes practice and dedication to master these skills.

T – TEST AND CONNECT

Now you have moved your client from what doesn’t work, and they have new distinctions and awareness for a new outcome.

So, here we want to test the congruency of the new idea, emotion, identity, pattern, thoughts, etc..

Any thought or emotion that you condition enough will become a HABIT.

Examples to test:

  • Can you imagine a time in the future when you might be in a similar situation, and what happens?
  • How differently would you be living your life with this new change/distinction etc..?
  • What would be different from this point on while you’re living in this place?

You also want to connect them to a higher purpose by them making this change. Typically, people will do more for others, than they will for themselves. And especially if their new identity is wrapped into THEIR mission, or the reason they’re on this planet! Whew… you’ve hit a homerun if you can truly connect them on this level.

E – EMPOWER TO SUCCEED 

Even when people have significant internal shifts, they often don’t prepare themselves to KEEP the changes going forward.  It’s crucial for us as coaches to empower them up to succeed by having some kind of action plan, accountability, execution strategy, or reporting any forward movement.

This is where your role as a coach is like a fitness trainer. You’re holding them accountable for something to be done in between your sessions, or interactions.

TIPS:

  • Depending on the situation or challenge your client is facing, there are times you will go through this process in five minutes, and times it can take hours.
  • It’s important you don’t think of intervention work as a step-by-step process while you’re going through it. It’s an art you practice. Sometimes you’ll go in the exact I.G.N.I.T.E. framework, and other times you’ll find you might be in the middle of “Inner Work” and then retreat back to “Getting Leverage.” Key is to be PRESENT! Embody this process as a framework, not as a rule.
  • Please keep in mind: I do full immersion courses over an entire year to master this process. This is an introduction to a framework I know works! If you want to learn this on a deeper level, please email me directly.

Much Success…
Sean

 

 

[Article] Should Professional Coaches be Required to Have a Certification?

This is a controversial topic.

Many people think all professional coaches *should* have a certification from a recognized coach training school, such as the International Coach Federation.  Most of the time, in my experience anyway, those people are the recognized training institutions themselves, or their graduates.  =)

Other people like the fact that anyone can hang their “PROFESSIONAL COACH” shingle outside their door and open up shop.

Here’s my humble opinion…

We have to start with the purpose of coaching.  At its core, coaching is about helping people better their lives in some way.  Extremely valuable and noble cause.

If somebody wants to pay for that, who’s to say they shouldn’t be able to, or that the coach shouldn’t be able to accept the payment?  We’re talking about the freedom of investment here.  (Isn’t that in the Bill of Rights?)

Anyway, if you have a leaky faucet and you want somebody to fix it, shouldn’t you be able to pay your un-certified, non-board-recognized neighbor, assuming he knows how to get the result you want?

On the other hand…

We could argue that professional life and business coaching is much more meaningful, since we’re dealing with someone’s LIFE, not their faucet.  Different ball of wax.

And since the “job” at hand can be very sensitive, where you’re opening up people’s emotions and giving them advice to put into action, there should be a standard that all coaches have to live by.  A hoop of proficiency we all must jump through.

After all, we definitely don’t want a bunch of incompetent “coaches” giving irresponsible advice and harming people or giving the industry a bad name, do we?

Honestly, I get both points.  As a coach, I certainly take pride in my craft and want the industry to have a standard of excellence.

The challenge, however, is where do you draw the line?  And who’s going to enforce it?  And which company or collection of organizations will be giving out this recognized certification?  What makes them qualified?

Are the state governments going to have to get involved?  If so, which issues are they going to take off the table so they can invest time and a lot of money deciding who gets to open a coaching business?

Jeez!  

I think this debate is a lot of energy misspent.  And did you notice over the last several paragraphs that I haven’t mentioned, and you haven’t thought about, the essence of coaching, which is to help people?

All the arguing pulls us in the wrong direction.  If you want to help people, help people.  If you want to charge people, charge people.  If they want to pay you, accept it.

If you had a bleeding splinter in your thumb and I had tweezers,
would you really ask me if I was certified to use them?

In my 7 years as a professional coach, I’ve been asked less than 5 times by prospective clients if I have a certification.  (I do)  But before answering, I always ask why they want to know.  I usually either hear crickets or some form of backpedaling into “Well, it doesn’t matter anyway.”

At the end of the day, people care less about what’s hanging on your wall, and more about what you can help them overcome.

I will say this though – the most important skill as a coach is the 100% certainty behind KNOWING you can help somebody change their lives.  That knowingness is attractive and without it, you’ll fail.

For most people, that level of certainty requires a lot of artful skills.  And at the end of the seminar where they teach those skills, you usually walk away with a certification.

But the power isn’t in the piece of paper.  The power is in your ability to change lives.

I’ve often asked people, “Do you want a drivers license, or do you want to know how to drive?”  There are plenty of people out there with recognized, certified drivers licenses whom I would NOT let drive my children around!

So, do I think you should have a certification?  YES.

Not because I have one.  And not because I think you need to be recognized by a board to get into my fraternity.  You should be certified because you’ll become a better coach with more confidence in the process of certification.

Then, you can go help the people who are desperately seeking your knowledge.

~ Sean

 

 

 

Next Level Project: My 6-Month One-on-One Intensive Coaching Program

Years ago, I decided to stop coaching & consulting on an hourly basis, and I’ll never go back again.

The main reason is that, although charging up to $750/hour to work with clients is very lucrative, I only want to work on long-term projects now.  It’s a lot more fulfilling and exciting for me.

So, I don’t do the ‘hourly thing’ anymore.

Instead, I take on a small number of long-term private clients periodically, once or twice a year… and give them 6 months of intensive mentoring, coaching, training and consulting.  I really like being in the trenches with serious people, to dig into their businesses, and help make some of the strategic decisions that will drive profits. 

I only take 2 or 3 because of my time constraints and the fact that I really like seeing my wife and children.  =)

Anyway, if you’re chosen you’ll get my private cell phone number and I’ll be doing everything I possibly can to help you radically grow your business in the next 6 months.  We’ll be on the phone for one full hour every week

Note: Because I’ll be showing you everything I know, you’ll need to sign a non-disclosure agreement.  So you have to be cool with that if you want one of the 3 slots.

Also, I only coach on Tuesdays now, so you’ll need to have availability on Tuesdays.  I do have some wiggle room throughout that day, but I don’t coach on the other days.

I’m giving loyal members of my list first dibs on these spots.

If you need to know a little about me, here’s a quick snapshot:

  • I’ve been in the speaking & training business since 2006
  • I earned over $300,000 in my first 18 months when I knew almost NOTHING
  • I’ve sold well over $2 million in programs & products in this industry
  • We are on pace to top $400,000 this year
  • I’ve seen nearly every business model up close & personal, and can help you choose the right one for YOU based on your strengths, weaknesses and desires

Here are some things you need to know about the program:

  1. It’s going to cost $12k.  This is a steal when you consider my rate of $750/hour, not to mention the bonuses.  *This fee is a filter:  I’m not willing to risk the possibility that you’ll be less than 100% committed or that you’ll drop out after a couple months (especially if I’ve spent those months working my a** off for you).  There is no exception to this rule.  Please don’t email us asking for an exception on this, or wanting to negotiate.
  2. If you’re wanting something for nothing, please don’t consider working with me.  You’re not going to pay $12k and magically have clients come rushing to your door.  The hard work begins after your investment and we start working together on your business.
  3. You must agree to take action.  I will do everything I can to help make your business a thriving success, but YOU must take action and apply the strategies and systems I give you and help you create.  I don’t want to work with people who are operating on some unrealistic fantasy.  I built a lucrative business by taking significant action.  It’s the only way I know how to do it, and I’ll teach you everything I can to help you do the same.

“After using Sean’s system for complimentary consultations, with the confidence to present my coaching packages, and a VERY CLEAR picture of who my seeker is, I have 10 full time clients and I’ve earned over $6,000 in my first 2 months in business.”

~Jenn Wenzke, Holland, OH

UPDATE:  Jenn has a completely full coaching practice, earning $60,000/year (2nd year in business)

“I doubled my income last year, spoke in front of 1200 people and had numerous keynotes with major companies.  Because of all that, I had the time freedom to take a 15-day vacation to New Zealand.  But what I cherish the most is becoming a better parent, wife and daughter in the process, and living a life of JOY and PEACE.”

~Puja Gupta, Chennai, India

I am not going to spend any energy trying to HARD SELL you into this program, this is simply an invitation for high level thinkers that want to play a higher level game.  By this point, I am sure that you’ve already decided whether you’re in or out.  And that’s cool.  Trust your intuition.  If you want to work together, great.  If not, great.

***I will ONLY accept your application and work with you at this level if I am 100% confident that I can help you get real results and earn many times this investment.

The Bonuses

  1. As a Next Level private coaching client, you’ll get every future membership, website, information product, seminar, conference, and physical product we ever produce.  For free.  Forever.  This bonus alone more than justifies the cost of the program and is worth well over $15,000 going forward.
  2. As a Next Level private coaching client, you’ll also get access to every single product we currently have available for your personal use and/or modeling purposes.  Considering the tons of programs in our archives across several different brands, this bonus is worth well over $5,000.
  3. I will also give you access to any of the relevant marketing courses that I have in my online training library (courses I have bought from other trainers on marketing, launching your products, getting clients, etc), currently consisting of over $20,500 worth of programs.  To be clear, I’m not going to give you all my passwords and let you have at it (and get thoroughly confused in the process).  If I know you can benefit from a specific course, I’ll give you temporary access to it to help you in our journey together.
  4. While you’re in this program, you will have access to my private web designer who can implement any web project for you, whether it’s a full website or a simple landing page, so you don’t have to be the one learning code and you don’t have to pay somebody else.  He already knows all the marketing systems and platforms we currently use to generate multiple 6-figures each year.  The value of this, in time saved and well as projects completed, is over $7,500.

If you want one of these 3 spots, please do the following (in this order — no exceptions)…

  1. Pay your deposit (link is below my name at the bottom)
  2. Send me an email at sean@coachseansmith.com with the subject line “Next Level Application”, telling me the following…
    • What your current niche or business is and/or what you want to focus on
    • The 1 business idea you’re most passionate about implementing right now
    • Your past business experience in this or other niches
    • Your current revenue streams and amounts
    • What results you want to create over the next 6-12 months
    • How you most think I’d be able to help you
    • Your phone number and a good time to call you in the next 24 hours

*Applications will be considered on a first come, first served basis.  There is no application deadline and the spots will be filled by the first eligible candidates.

Very important note:  I will not review your application until payment has been received.  (I’m purposefully making the barrier difficult because I don’t want to review a lot of applications from people who are not fully committed to coaching).  If your application is not accepted, we will of course refund your payment in full within 24 hours.  But I am just not willing to review dozens and dozens of applications from people who, after an extensive selection process, might eventually say they don’t have the funds.

If you’re not willing to work your a** off to serve people and build your dreams in the process, there’s no need for you to apply.  But if you’re ready to run, and you’re in it for the long haul, let’s see what we can create together!

The Guarantee

I’m not able or willing to make any results guarantees for many reasons, the primary one being that your results are based on your effort and your commitment. 

However, to reverse the risk a little bit, if you’re not fully satisfied that you’ve made a good decision after the first call, we’ll refund your money.

My Goal for You

While I can’t guarantee any of your results, my immediate goal is to help you recover your investment at least 2 or 3 times within the 6 month program with new business, and help you develop the systems to get an exponential return on your investment year over year into the future.

With all of this in consideration, I very much look forward to working with you *if* this program is the right fit for you and vice versa.

– Sean

*Click here to pay your deposit.

If you want/need to read more about me (the full story), click here

[Article] Rules, Tools & Pools – 3 Common Mistakes Coaches Make

Most people who want to learn how to be a life coach have all the desire in the world, a heart of gold, and a great work ethic.  I applaud you.  Helping others live a better life is the most noble thing you can do.

But the vast majority of new coaches don’t get their businesses off the ground successfully because they never master how to get coaching clients.  (pretty important piece of the recipe)

There are 3 main reasons new coaches struggle to build their businesses – Rules, Tools & Pools.

1 – Quit Looking for the Rules

Too many coaches are restricting themselves by searching for the “right” and “wrong” things to do in their business.  I always hear questions like…

  • How much should I charge for my products, programs & events?
  • How long should my teleseminars/videos/webinars be?
  • How should I be marketing to my audience?

The answer is always… it depends.  It depends on your industry, your perceived valued, your positioning, your strengths, your ideal client’s desires, etc.

Now I know that’s not what most people want to hear, because they always like to be sold a one-size-fits-all-so-I-don’t-have-to-think system.  But those don’t work.  Stop buying them.

You bring your own unique qualities to the market.  You have a personality and a perspective that nobody else has.  And so does your ideal prospect.  Don’t try to fit all that into a generic box.

Of course, there are fundamental concepts that cannot be avoided or ignored, if you want to succeed in business.  But on top of those fundamentals, put your own authentic ingredients into the recipe.  That’s how to stand out and get people to notice.  

We don’t want your version of someone else.  We want YOU.

2 – Quit Selling Your Tools

This is easily the biggest marketing mistake I see new coaches make.  And it’s deadly!  Let me explain this one with an analogy.

If I have a splinter in my thumb, I am only interested in one thing – GETTING IT OUT!  I want the pain to stop.

If you tell me you can help get it out, I’ll hire you.  And I really don’t care if you plan to use tweezers, duct tape or your teeth!  I just want it out.  I’m interested in the result, not the tool you plan to use. 


Marketing is the same way.  Sell outcomes.  All the time.

The challenge is that new coaches tend to be really proud of the shiny new tools and certifications and skills they’ve learned along the way to becoming a coach.

And we tend to think people are going to be as excited about the shiny tools as we are.  But you have to remember that you are on the other side of your breakthrough, and from that reflective point of view, you see the value in the tools.

But your prospects are still standing in their ‘stuff’.  They just want the breakthrough.  

So, don’t talk about your EFT, ICC, or LMNOP coaching skills.  Talk about what those coaching skills will help people achieve.  Will they experience more happiness and fulfillment?  Financial abundance?  Better relationships?

That’s what people buy.  They want the view from the top of the hill, they don’t want to buy the hill.

3 – Quit Putting People into Pools

What would make you feel more special… somebody communicating with you individually, taking the time to know what you want and how they can help you specifically, or being thrown into a big pool of people with someone yelling at all of you at the same time through a bullhorn?

Yeah, me too.

If you really want to create connection (you better), market and communicate with a single person, your seeker.  

Somebody out there is desperately seeking the wisdom you, and only you, have inside your head.  Your job is to get in front of, speak with, and serve that single person.  Individually.

But if you’re like most coaches, you might not want to do that.  It’s often referred to as “finding your niche” and it’s the most resisted piece of advice I ever give when I teach marketing to life and business coaches.  

And I get it.  I violently resisted it too.  But then I had to file bankruptcy because I broke this fundamental principle over and over again.  That’s when I finally stopped resisting.

Most new coaches try to be everything to everybody, which I completely understand.  Your stuff can probably help most people improve their lives.  The problem, however, is that you can’t communicate with “most people” at the same time.

Markets don’t buy things.  Groups don’t buy things.  Individual people buy things.

Now, if you do want to help more than one seeker, that’s fine.  Just speak to them separately.  Aside from my coaching for coaches platform, I also have a passion for…

  • advising parents how to raise empowered kids
  • helping entrepreneurs get rid of internal fears & limiting beliefs
  • teaching couples how to E.N.R.I.C.H. their relationships
  • empowering speakers to be magnetic, compelling & persuasive on stage

But, I would never try to talk to them all at the same time.  Seriously, that’s just rude!  =)

So…

When you avoid these 3 costly mistakes, you’ll set yourself up to succeed and separate you as well as your business from the herd instead of blending into the crowd.

In today’s world, where people are being yelled at and marketed to constantly, that’s imperative!  

Have the courage to be unique, the wisdom to offer people what they want to buy, and the courtesy to serve them individually.  Then, watch your business take off!

Let me know your thoughts…
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