Do It! Marketing Blog: Marketing for Smart People™

The ugly truth about coaching, revenue, and the bad old days

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It was ugly.

All of it.

No clients, no money, no clue...

Yup - that's how I started my business back in 2002.

At that time, I only had 2 revenue streams: speaking and training. 

And I was pretty awful at marketing and selling both.

Even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut so I got a few big training contracts with companies like QVC, Microsoft, and IBM and several smaller gigs with local companies here in the Philadelphia area where I live...

Was it enough to pay the bills? 


Did it look good on the outside? Sure it did. 

For 3 years, I was bobbing and weaving and hitting dead end after dead end.

Many, many times I wanted to give up and go back to the good old days of a nice 9-to-5 job with the best benefit of all - a paycheck!!

Then in 2005, things started to improve... or I just got real tired of being broke and clueless so I worked like a mad man to figure out this marketing thing once and for all... 

Suddenly, several trainers, coaches, and speakers were asking me to have breakfast, lunch, and coffee with them to share my "secrets" to success... 

They thought I was being humble when I said it's not that much success and I don't have any secrets.

Actually, it was the 100% truth. 

But I helped them out as much as I could - I ate a lot of lunch and drank a lot of coffee and subjected myself to way too many "Can I pick your brain?" meetings. 

They were nice people and they needed help so I did it. 

Then one day in 2005, I was presenting for a group called the Consultants Forum.

At the end of that talk - on a whim - I passed around a signup sheet and offered anyone who wanted a private 20-minute coaching session to contact me. 

My plan was to offer them private marketing and sales coaching at $1,000 a month. 

Before that week was over, I generated $3,000 in new coaching revenue from the folks in that room [there were only about 15 people at the event.] 

The next week, I was at another local event [not speaking, just attending] and a woman who ran a promotional products and advertising firm hired me for private coaching for another $3,000. 

After generating $6,000 in less than 10 days back in 2005 - basically by accident - it dawned on me:

I should probably offer private coaching in addition to my speaking and training offerings. 

And so should YOU.

p.s. When things got ugly in my business [and they did] between 2005 and 2007, no matter how much I was struggling in one area or another of my business, I could ALWAYS get private coaching clients.

It. Saved. My. Business. 

p.p.s. What started out as free - and then $250 an hour - and then $1,000 a month - and then $4,500 for 90 days - and then $7,500 for 90 days - and fast forward to today where I regularly get $15,000 for my 90-day private mentor program - has become a central pillar of my revenue-generating game plan as a thought-leading professional. You can do the same if you know what you're doing...

p.p.p.s. Remember I am NOT a "coach" - I have zero coaching certifications - and have no coaching letters after my name. That's not the kind of coaching I'm talking about. I'm talking about 1-1 consulting or 1-1 training/mentoring which is exactly what most executives and entrepreneurs are looking to YOU to provide. 

Want to apply for your Speaker Strategy Call to see how you can IMPLEMENT some of these concepts right away? Apply for your call here.