I identify as bi when it comes to the “S” word…
You know what I’m talking about.
You’ve probably been chasing after it for a while.
And for so many it’s been this carrot at the end of the stick, always just out of reach.
You typically hear it pass through a coach’s lips and it sounds like…
“I want to scale”.
Ah. The elusive, desirable, dream-come-true… Scale.
On one side of the pendulum, we’ve had coaches wanting to scale, but hitting up against the wall with two roadblocks…
#1: Churn — they can’t outsell their churn.
The coach’s net growth is mediocre (at best) because their clients aren’t getting what they need, and so they leave.
#2: Mojo — they lose the love for their business.
…department meetings, OKRs, operation systems, management of the team, and truly taking a leadership role have them feeling like their herding cats every day.
Because most coaches aren’t great entrepreneurs.
For the last while its been the stripe screenshots, 2-comma club awards in the zoom backgrounds, and whatever other status signaling approach.
All in the hopes of saying to the world “I’m better than you”.
Now we see the pendulum swing.
The Renaissance of 1:1.
The chase of scale has had a shadow side that is only seen when the recording button is turned off, when the pain has become to unbearable, and when dire straights settle in.
Working your arse off for longer than you’d like to admit, to only find yourself hating your own business is a tough pill to swallow.
I’ve been there.
I’ve worn the t-shirt.
Realizing that health, happiness, and fulfillment… dare I even say it; is important.
Has many coaches now rethinking, reexamining, and restarting their businesses around a model that aligns to their truest goals and aspirations.
But this is where I see the pendulum wrongly swing too far the other way…
The coaches that have been preaching scale and growth of million-dollar businesses did so because that model fit their goals, strengths, and capabilities.
The coaches that wanted to build empires rightly did so.
But when you look a little deeper into what they’re telling the world, there is a strong self-serving bias into what they share.
The coaches that looked up to these empire builders just tried to copy them.
…which now has them climbing the ladder of success.
Only to find the ladder is on the wrong wall.
Actually, that analogy doesn’t illustrate the whole problem.
The coaches that have been trying to scale and grow a larger business, but have been struggling…
Have been struggling because they haven’t developed the skills, behaviors, and identify that have them able to build such a business.
To be blunt, they simply don’t have the chops to do it.
So instead, it looks like to me, they turn around to make themselves look better by saying that scale is a bad thing.
And now we have these coaches falling into the trap of projecting onto everyone else…
These are now the coaches you see saying:
“1:1 coaching is better”
“group coaching sucks”
“you don’t need to build a big business”
The baby gets thrown out with the bath water.
And that baby is nuance.
The nuance that we all need to make the right decisions that fit our individual selves and the chapters of life we’re in.
It’s easier for a coach that has been trying to scale, and not succeeded, to turn around and preach that, that model sucks.
As renowned molecular biologist and neuroscientist, Francis Crick said…
“The dangerous man is one that has only one idea. Because he’ll fight and die for it.
The way real science goes is that you’ll come up with lots of ideas and most of them will be wrong.”
One problem that these coaches conveniently forget to talk about, is the lack of asset building.
Having a bunch of 1:1 clients can be great for cash flow.
But you’re the dancing bear at the end of the day.
And when you stop dancing, the dollar bills stop getting thrown at your feet.
And this is why I said tongue in cheek at the start “I identify as bi”.
I’ve built a coaching business that ran 100% without me.
I was off the org chart.
I was able to successfully sell the business.
Something many people said couldn’t be done.
Because most coaches can’t build a sellable asset.
Because most coaches can’t build a business that truly operates without them.
A Restorian artist, that is world-class at art restoration aims to return old paintings to as near to their original state as possible.
Doesn’t have the same skills, or talents or even wants to then “scale” a business that has dozens of artists working under s/he, being able to restore thousands of artworks per year.
And you know what?!
That doesn’t make them bad, wrong, or lesser than in any way.
Coaches that are talented, skillful and exceptional at their craft.
Coaches that have what’s needed to get their clients the results they promised are worthy in their own way.
The problem that I’m pointing at here is that if you’re feeling inferior from your comparison to others. It’s ;likely because you’re tiring your self-worth to your “business success”.
And that’s a recipe for disaster, heartache and frustration.
So after selling my last business, I then built a bespoke consulting business.
In 63 days I went from zero to a million-dollar run rate…
No big team.
No “DM me for…”
No “Click here to buy”
No “Book a call with me”.
And since those first 63 days, I’ve purposefully added complexity to my model for greater leverage and impact.
Clients each happily paying me a quarter of a million dollars a year, plus a profit share.
See when choosing the right business model for yourself, there’s a web of factors that need to come together for the right decision to be made…
- How much money do you want to receive?
- Who do you want to serve?
- How much time do you want to be working?
- What is your zone of genius?
- What’s the relationship you want with your customers and clients?
- What skill sets do you have?
- What skillsets are you willing to cultivate?
- What does the market want right now?
- Whats your capacity in life for output and bandwidth?
- And many more…
The topic of engineering the right business model for yourself is extremely salient to me, as one business I am in, is using A.I. to be able to solve this exact problem.
And so, my fellow seeker of truth and purpose, as we come to the end of our philosophical expedition, let us take a moment to reflect on the power, inspiration, and usefulness that resides within us.
There’s only one thing I invite you to do after reading this.
I’ve got nothing to sell you.
What I hope to inspire in you, is wise forward momentum.
Do the work.
Choose what’s right for you.
Choose what’s right for you, right now.
You see, my friend, the pursuit of scale, of building empires, has held allure and fascination for many. It has been a seductive carrot dangling just out of reach, beckoning us forward.
But in this chase, we have encountered roadblocks—churn and the loss of mojo—that have left us feeling disenchanted and disconnected from our true aspirations.
We have witnessed a shift, a renaissance of sorts, as coaches reevaluate their path and realign their businesses with their deepest goals. And yet, let us not swing the pendulum too far in the other direction.
Let us not succumb to the temptation of projecting our own struggles onto others, for in doing so, we risk losing the nuance, the delicate dance of individuality.
Each of us possesses unique talents, skills, and desires.
Our journeys are as diverse as the colors of the sunset. Just as a master artist excels at restoring paintings to their original glory, not all of us are meant to scale businesses with dozens of employees. And that is perfectly fine. It does not diminish our worth or value.
The key lies in finding the business model that resonates with our deepest longings, our true zone of genius. It requires a delicate interplay of factors—financial aspirations, desired impact, time allocation, skillsets, market demand, and personal capacity.
It is an intricate web that we must carefully weave, crafting a model that allows us to thrive and create value in a way that aligns with our authentic selves.
As we contemplate our own path, let us remember that our self-worth should never be tethered to our business success.
It is a dangerous dance that leads to discontent and heartache. Instead, let us find solace in the knowledge that we are worthy, regardless of the size or shape of our endeavors. Our value lies not in comparison but in the impact we make, the lives we touch, and the legacy we leave behind.
And so, as you embark on the next chapter of your journey, remember to embrace the complexity of your decision-making process.
May your path be illuminated by the light of self-discovery, may your endeavors be fueled by passion and purpose, and may you find the inspiration and power to create a life and a business that truly reflect the essence of who you are.
You’re doing great.