The Coaching Industry is Kinda Broken…

Online Coaching is Having a Moment…

In fact, it’s been having about six years of moments, culminating in everyone and their grandmother hanging a proverbial shingle, starting a Facebook Group, and calling herself a coach.


Which is cool. I LOVE inclusivity. I love decentralization of education and access.

But I can’t shake the feeling that there’s some shit in our industry that’s broken…

Let me preface this by saying, that I am a coach.

Coaching is my favourite. I adore the coaches I’ve hired who’ve offered products at a variety of price points and serve so deeply at all levels of investment. I love everything about sitting down with a client and helping her figure out that she wants to buy a new house or offer a new product line and then planning how she’s going to do those things from an emotional and strategic perspective.


There are some things I think are bullshit about the online coaching industry. And I’d love for us to work together to fix them.


Fronting like you’re doing better than you are.

So many people pretending like their hundreds of thousands of followers = hundreds of thousands of dollars (even though she added you to her Facebook group without asking and there is so little engagement that you forgot you were in it until she tagged you and five thousand other whatever’s below lurkers in her Mindset Monday post)

Yes, there is an upper tier in this industry. And I think it’s dope to share when you’re winning. Do that. But don’t pretend you’re doing better than you are. It’s sleazy, it doesn’t fool anyone, and the people it does fool use it as a means of comparison to tell themselves they suck.


Realize that your reality is your most potent form of power.

Get excited about your 5 Likes.

Those are five actual people. Love that five. Help them. If you serve the shit out of those five, I mean really fall ass over tea kettle for them, if you show them just how good you are, they will each tell a friend.


Using NLP to shame people into buying shit

Like, seriously. No wonder there’s this increased sense of wariness for people to invest in coaching. Too many shady ladies (and dudes) have used the principles of Neuro Linguistic Programming to make you feel like a total loser if you don’t have $15K to invest in their program.

They tell you that you’re not valuing yourself if you don’t invest and you must need to clear your mindset blocks if you don’t believe in yourself enough to take out yet another credit card to pay them.


Repeat after me: I will use NLP (and all other coaching “tactics”) for GOOD and not EVIL. Anything else sullies this industry and takes away from those of us who are trying to do good and make money within our integrity and while serving people



We can stop telling people that they only believe in themselves if they go premium, right??

Ten years ago, at the beginning of my personal development journey (when this business had yet to even occur to me), I was a single mom with a mortgage and to buy one Louise Hay book OR CD BECAUSE THAT WAS A THING (crap, I’m kinda old) was a BIG deal. My budget was tight. I bought that book and I underlined passages and I implemented the shit out of it. Don’t tell me that my $8 was a sign of under-valuing myself.


Offer products and services at a multitude of price points or, at the very least, realize that premium is simply for everyone yet. Maybe it will be, but our jobs as coaches is to meet people where they are at. Be nice.

Shame tactics are mouldy and gross. They’re reason people are afraid to sell.

Shitty (okay, so this one isn’t super shitty for your clients and prospects, but it is keeping them from finding you):

Using “coaching” words

Most of our clients don’t care about mindset blocks or confidence or clarity or even living their best life.

Most of them have NO idea what mindset blocks are, they haven’t identified their own, or if they have, what they really want is to know that you can help them solve their problem.


What would being more confident BRING them? Say THAT. (Does it mean that they stand up to the dude who always steals their ideas in the boardroom? Because THAT has value to them).

What sucks in her specific reality about “lacking clarity”? Is it that she can’t pick a direction to take with her business, so she’s just trying to serve ALL the people (and no one’s hiring her)? Let her know (ethically) that by working with you, she’ll be able to figure out exactly who lights her fire from a client perspective and that by speaking directly to that specific person, she’ll make more MONEY.


Publicly shaming people in the audience.

This seriously has to stop.

It makes me so mad.

I’ve unfollowed several prominent coaches in the last year because they do this.

They see someone in their audience who’s just struggling to make her own shit pop and she happens to use a word or two that’s similar to the admin of the Facebook group.

Rather than privately speaking to the copycat in Messenger, she shames that poor woman all over the Internet (obliquely taking her name out but making it super easy and obvious to find out who it is).


Be a fucking grown-up.

If someone does something you don’t like, speak with them about it.

Have boundaries, yes.

Protect your work, yes.

But also understand that there’s a power dynamic involved if you’re the coach and they’re the audience.

Calling her out publicly is mean girl shit and I think our industry needs to be done with that.

We’re supposed to help people.


Here’s the thing. I love coaching. I love it so much.

I’ve been coached so well in my career

(and I’ve also had coaches who’ve made me feel like shit, used the shame techniques I described, and once, tried to recruit me to join an MLM team AFTER I’d paid her a substantial amount of money to be my coach).

Long story, short: I feel like I finally know what I want to be when I grow up.

I know so many of you reading this will feel the same way.

There’s a reason that online coaching is having a moment – because this digital platform is a powerful tool for connecting us to one another, because coaching is fucking rad when it’s done well It changes lives.

Furthermore, women are ready to have some influence over the money we receive and the impact we create and online service-based businesses allow us to do just that.

So, let’s protect this sacred space (sorry to be dramatic, it’s in my nature).

Let’s support one another to create a long-game for our profession that’s filled with integrity and deep service.

Let’s fill in our skill gaps with the unlimited education at our finger tips.

It bears repeating: just be nice. We learned that in kindergarten. If we’re kind and we support one another, there’s genuinely enough space for every one of us to succeed wildly.

I think you’re amazing,

Er xo



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Erin McDonald
Business Success Coach for Women Entrepreneurs at ClumsyGrace
Erin is an International Transformational Coach, obsessed with facilitating change in the lives of incredible, hilarious women. She's a Mama, wife, friend, sister, daughter, and cousin; a seeker (and occasional finder) of an authentic life in all its disastrous glory. She has a brave heart, believes in magic, loves tacos, and always wins at Whack-a-Mole
The Truth is you Don't HAVE to do ANY of it<< >>How Lakisha Pays the Rent Now

About the author : Erin McDonald

Erin McDonald
Erin is an International Transformational Coach, obsessed with facilitating change in the lives of incredible, hilarious women. She's a Mama, wife, friend, sister, daughter, and cousin; a seeker (and occasional finder) of an authentic life in all its disastrous glory. She has a brave heart, believes in magic, loves tacos, and always wins at Whack-a-Mole