Selfishness Versus Generosity in Coaching

Today I’m going to admit something about my coaching.

Something that I’ve never told anyone in my entire 22 years in the coaching industry.

Coaching is a caring profession.

Most coaches are willing to give up their time, energy, and money…

…to change someone else’s life for the better.

Despite that, some of Master Coach University’s most advanced students act pretty selfish:

  • Complaining
  • Griping about petty grievances
  • Passing judgment on clients and fellow students

Does it seem odd that coaches can come from such a selfish and judgemental place?

It never surprises me.

In fact, these coaches remind me of myself (at my worst) when I don’t get what I want.

I lash out…

I want to attack

I get ‘petty’

…so I can get what I selfishly want.

I’m justified, righteous.

Purely selfish.

Which is the opposite of the spirit of coaching, right?

I always thought I was motivated to make a difference and change lives.

I thought I was ‘Mr. Altruism’.

But (years ago) my coach pointed out my selfish side.

She noticed that I was ‘too hungry’.

She asked…

“Why are you so driven to ‘do coaching’ as a career?”

“Aren’t you already generous and giving in your own life?”

I replied… “Uh… not really, I guess.”

And that’s when I realized…

I was stingy, selfish, and egotistical throughout the other parts of my life.

Looking back, most of my life (up until that moment)…

…was all about ME!

Here are a few snapshots from my self-centered life:

I was a musician and performer who enjoyed the applause and glory of a crowd appreciating my art.

musician

After that, I was a day-trader, greedily pursuing financial gains to enrich my account, buy fancy stuff, and impress others.

Fast forward to today?

There’s still a gigantic self-serving part of me

…and that part still drives much of my ambitions.

Was my motivation to join such a generous, giving, and altruistic profession…

…authentic?

Did I want to coach simply to LOOK generous and altruistic?

Did I sacrifice large sums of my time, energy, and money for the coaching profession…

…so that I can LOOK more generous than I really am?

Did I do it all for the halo effect?

Am I just gaining influence through ‘virtue signaling’?

Perhaps I just want to LOOK benevolent

…while deep down I’m really SELFISH.

Is my claim to altruism… bullshit?

How many other coaches (and aspiring coaches)…

…are ‘waiving the banner’ of altruism and generosity…

…while, deep down, they’re really TAKERS?

I’ve worked with quite a few coaches who are giving and generous.

But I’ve also worked with coaches who are 90% selfish

…and don’t even seem to care about their clients.

But all that is MY JUDGMENT.

“SELFISH = BAD” is just knee-jerk judgment.

“SELFISH = BAD” is just knee-jerk judgment.

We’re all selfish.

We have to be selfish, or else we couldn’t function.

The question isn’t whether coaches are selfish.

They are.

The question isn’t whether you’re selfish.

You are.

The question is…

…how does your selfishness manifest?

What behavior does your selfishness amplify?

What emotion does your selfishness trigger?

What does your selfishness bring to your clients? …to your life?

Some doctors save lots of lives through their own selfish motivation…

…so selfishness can’t be such a bad thing, right?

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In fact, many coaches I’ve trained aren’t selfish enough.

They’re so worried about avoiding selfish tendencies

…that they don’t reach out to coach anybody.

Why?

That coach didn’t want to do anything that could also benefit themselves.

They demonize their own selfishness.

They won’t allow selfishness any space in their life.

I always instruct those coaches to stop judging themselves.

Those coaches need to stop making selfish ‘wrong’.

Those coaches need to be selfish enough to get out of bed in the morning and do their job.

Those coaches need to be selfish enough to reach out to that next coaching client.

If you’re not generous enough in your coaching, you’ll fail

…because you have to give so much in coaching.

But, if you’re not selfish enough, you’ll ALSO fail…

…because you won’t GET enough from coaching.

Part of the coaching business is about getting and receiving, not just giving and contributing.

Part of the coaching business is about getting and receiving, not just giving and contributing.”

Want proof?

Are you getting value from this email right now?

The fact is, I’m writing this entire email primarily…

1. Because I want you to open it

…which gives me a better relationship within our email distribution domain (a key metric my business needs to optimize).

2. Because I want you to click the links

…which gives better metrics, and gets you ‘hooked’ on Master Coach University’s teachings.

And, finally…

3. Because (eventually) I want you to enroll in more of our programs!

My ‘selfish’ motivation is probably making a difference for you.

(or else you wouldn’t have read this far!)

In fact, Master Coach University’s own Associate Dean, Dr. Coiner, writes about the ‘power of selfishness’ in your coaching HERE:

www.coachestrainingblog.com/becomeacoach/the-value-of-selfishness-in-coaching/

So, selfish motivations can clearly produce value for the world.

If you’re questioning, attacking, or demonizing your selfishness…

STOP IT

The outcome of that selfishness is what matters

not the intent.

Don’t reject the emotions of selfishness.

Don’t reject the emotions of selfishness.”

Those emotions are there to serve you.

Don’t reject the mindsets of selfishness.

That’s hardwired into every human being.

No one is innocent of their own self-serving ‘wiring’.

There’s nothing ‘broken’ about a selfish coach.

The sooner you stop judging yourself for selfishness

…the sooner you can get to work and make things better.

THE POINT: It’s OK to embrace your selfishness.

It’s not wrong to follow your own wants and needs.

Then what’s the problem with selfishness?

Selfishness is limited in how much it can fulfill you.

Your selfishness alone will never truly satisfy you.

Selfishness alone usually limits the impact you make.

So, although I care about ME, my METRICS, and my ENROLLMENTS…

…and that’s pretty much 100% selfish…

…I also care about YOU winning your most valued aspirations in your coaching business.

…I care about the impact YOU make on so many clients that I’ll never meet.

That expanded view was part of what motivated me to write this email…

Add some intelligence, integrity, generosity, and larger view thinking to that selfishness…

…and you become a formidable coach.

Add some intelligence, integrity, generosity, and larger view thinking to that selfishness…and you become a formidable coach.”

The coaches going through my advanced training right now are building the ‘mindset muscles’ that make for a master coach.

My challenge is to help them see the larger picture.

…to challenge them to build their generosity muscle.

There’s no need to obliterate their selfishness.

The ‘selfish me’ still shows up DAILY.

I’ve found ways to keep him in check.

I’ve found ways to be generous while partnering with the ‘selfish me’.

Sometimes, that inspires a coach to see the bigger ‘generosity’ picture through our trainings.

A few students begin to believe that their generosity…

  • Striving to help
  • Putting out more energy than they get back
  • Putting themselves aside so they can truly serve…

…is part of the ‘mindset muscle’ they need to build.

Selfishness can’t stop you…

…when you turn up the generosity.

But don’t forget to ‘tune up’ your selfishness muscle.

Let it motivate you to make more happen for you and your coaching business.

Railroad track

Then, build your generosity muscle.

Your generosity creates irresistible attraction for positive things that flow from your good work.

Generosity and Selfishness are two essential motivations that drive your coaching business forward.

Too much of one of them, and it’ll steer you off course.

The right amount of BOTH of them simultaneously…

…and you’ll be on track, full steam ahead.

You won’t necessarily get what you selfishly desire right away…

…but you’ll be more satisfied, fulfilled, and powerful than ever before.

…your coaching business will be legendary.

Then, everyone (including you) will reap the rewards.

Jeffrey “Selfish Coach” Sooey

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