Making Progress in a Coaching Business

Last week, I covered how public speaking was my ‘go to’ coaching

business strategy.

Public speaking was so powerful for me, that it helped me grow a full

coaching practice in under 2 years.

But I wanted more.

I wanted to ‘scale up’ even bigger.

The problem?

The way I tried to scale up…

…almost destroyed my coaching business.

Luckily, a simple solution saved me.

Let me explain…

My speaking system worked this way:

  1. I gave speeches to sales teams.
  2. During the speech, I’d offer discovery sessions.
  3. I enrolled coaching clients from those discovery sessions.

This “heartbeat system” filled my practice with paying coaching clients

like a charm…

…but it was a lot of work.

…and my enrollments were limited to people I could speak in front of.

I was on the road speaking nearly EVERY day.

When I wasn’t speaking, I was on the phone scheduling more speeches.

I enjoyed it…

…but, I was getting pretty burnt out.

If I wanted even MORE clients, I had to add new

growth strategies.

So I thought that if I built a cool website

…More clients would find me.

Great idea right? (it is!)

So I threw myself into building my website…

…but I stopped speaking almost overnight.

Now ZERO clients were coming from speaking…

…and my fancy website had yet to render any coaching clients


I didn’t get discouraged.

I stuck to the plan.

But my full coaching practice slowly dwindled to just a few clients.

And then I remember the day I felt like the rug was pulled out from under me…

Two clients quit on the same day.

I looked at my ‘active clients’ list to remove them…

…and I realized my coaching business was almost dead.

I had only 2 active clients remaining.

Over the next few hours, panic set in.

I obsessed over how I would survive my upcoming financial demise.

Was I going to have to start all over again?

It would take months of hard work just to get back to a full coaching


And what would happen to my new website?

Between sobs, I pondered “Is this really worth continuing?”

The next day, I called MY coach, asking him “Should I just go get a


…and he told me THIS:

“You’ve come so far. You’ve already had a successful coaching business…”

“Why would you throw it all away by going back to a JOB?”

I told him, “I thought I was on my way to a coaching empire…

…but instead my coaching business is crashing down around


“Maybe this is my cue to get out?”

My coach told me, You’re not done with this journey.”

“You have more work to do.”

“You stopped doing what was working in order to do something


“If you go back to what works, you can resurrect your coaching


And that gave me an epiphany.

I wasn’t REALLY starting all over.

I still had a few paying clients.

I still knew how to GET clients.

So I pulled myself together and got back to work.

I scheduled speeches.

I set discovery sessions.

And, client by client…

…I rebuilt my coaching practice.

Now (A decade later) I’ve coached 408 clients (and


And all it really took was getting back to what worked.

Have you ever felt like you’re taking one step forward in your coaching


…only to immediately take two steps back?

Have you ever tried a new strategy to grow your business…

…only to waste your time with it?

…or worse, see it threaten or sabotage your current success?

Here’s the simple solution I learned when I turned my

coaching business around:

Do What Works.

Do What Works.

And, more importantly…

Don’t stop doing what works.

And there’s one universal system that works to grow your coaching business:

The Client-Getting “Chain”

See, getting clients requires a series of events (or activities) to work

together in harmony

…like a chain.

When you pull on a chain…


…EACH link has to be strong enough to keep the entire chain together.

If only one link of the chain breaks, then the chain won’t work.

In your coaching business, the client-getting chain is composed of at

least 3 links:

  • A system for getting leads (potential clients)
  • A system for scheduling discovery sessions
  • A system for enrolling new clients

To learn more about these 3 systems, check out THIS VIDEO:


How important are these 3 links?

These 3 systems are as important to getting paying coaching clients for

your business…

as your heart, lungs, and brain are to your body.

  • If your heart stops working… you’re dead
  • If your lungs stop working… you’re dead
  • If your brain stops working… you’re (brain) dead

If only one of those organs stops working

…you’re dead.

You would never stop breathing just because you want to improve your heart.

That would be suicide.

You’ve got to improve your heart while you maintain your lungs and brain


It doesn’t matter how strong the other two organs are if the other organ fails.

Don’t stop doing what works.

How does this apply to your coaching business?

Those 3 links in the client-getting “chain”…

…are like the ‘vital organs’ in your coaching business.

ALL of them are needed to keep your business alive.

And they’re ALWAYS needed.

If you’re missing EVEN ONE of those 3 links…

…you won’t be able to get enough coaching clients…

…and your business will die.

…just like your body dies when a vital organ fails.

That’s what almost happened to my coaching business.

And I was lucky enough to learn THIS hard lesson:

Never completely ignore any “vital organ” in your coaching business.

Because if you do, then your coaching business “dies”.

“What a second, Kris… are you saying that I can’t try other ways to get

clients in my business?”

Not at all.

You can (and probably should) try many different approaches to growing your


But never neglect any of these ‘vital organs’:

  • Lead generation
  • Free session setting
  • Client enrollments

ANY new approach to growing your coaching business MUST have all these

vital organs working together successfully

…before you expect it to replace any other approach.

Replacing your current approach to getting clients is like a

heart transplant.

It’s not a frivolous endeavor.

And it’s dangerous.

If you’re getting a heart transplant

…you’ve still got to keep your CURRENT heart pumping until you have that


…no matter how excited you are about your NEW HEART.

I was so enamored with the idea of my new website…

…that I blew off my only current source of coaching business survival.

I was ‘cutting the heart out of my coaching business’.


Bottom line…

You’ve got to work in multiple parts of your business at

the same time.

It’ll be more work

Less free time…

Less ‘life balance’…

…at least for a while.

But do it anyway.

Spin ALL the plates AT ONCE.

Spin ALL the plates AT ONCE.

Only then can you grow without your coaching business falling apart.

Only then, after a while…

…you can balance out your life again.

high leverage ways to get paying coaching clients (with PIES)

(NOTE: Want to replace your full time income so you can transition to coaching for a living? Then you need to watch this video. In the video, I’ll explain the high leverage “PIES” strategy to best get paying clients. Click HERE now to watch the video.)

How do you transition out ‘plate-spinning mode’?

How do you avoid the burn-out?

Work smarter…

  • Automate the links in your chain that you can automate.
  • Delegate the links in your chain that you can.
  • Improve the remaining links so the work is more efficient and effective.

…which might sound simple…

…but it’s NOT.


Because these ‘work smarter’ hacks are seductive.

They seem like magic bullets.

If you get caught up in just using a ‘hack’…

…without FIRST putting in the extra work that it takes to add a new strategy to

your coaching business…

…the hack doesn’t work.

If you don’t first WORK MORE to cut your teeth on a new approach

…you’ll experience the same problem I did.

Your coaching business grinds to a halt.

And you’ve got to take three steps back.

In that case… All that new strategy gets you is FRUSTRATION.

So first, work more, stretch yourself, and plow ahead.

Keep it simple and don’t try to outsmart yourself.

Once you’ve successfully started your shiny new coaching business strategy…

…you can consider making it more efficient.

…you can consider automating it.

…you can consider delegating it.

But not until you’ve got it working pretty well.

Spend the time to figure it out.

Sound intimidating?

It IS.

It’s scary.

It’s difficult.

It’s tricky.

…and that’s why most coaches don’t continue growing their impact.

…that’s why most coaches don’t continue growing their income.

But that doesn’t mean you CAN’T go for it.

You’re not ‘most coaches’… are you??

You don’t need any genius, just courage.

The courage to grow makes you even more valuable to your client.

When you survive these growing pains

…you can help your clients deal with their own growing pains.

We are all figuring out this “coaching business thing” as we go along.

If you can succeed with one approach to your business…

…you can succeed with a different approach.

You’re not a “one-hit wonder.”

If you’ve gotten one single client, you’ve already won

…and you can tap into that best version of yourself again.

So take advantage of a new way to grow your business.

Just don’t forget what already works for you.

You’ll be stronger than ever.

I believe in you!

Kris “Courage to Grow” Thompson

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