When are you ready for “High-Priced Coaching”?

Or, “Why I quit a year-long program only four months through.”

How do I define “high-priced coaching”?

If the monthly payment can be considered equal to a mortgage payment, I consider this to be “high-priced.”

As a beginning entrepreneur, you may easily get swept up into a program through a workshop. That’s how it happened to me.

It was the third day of a three-day event.

We had covered the nuts and bolts of money mindset the first day and a half. We had a mindset-breakthrough exercise the night before (I busted through a board with my bare hands).

That day there were a few teaching sessions, but mostly people speaking to us about “getting support” and how they reached entrepreneurial success through this coach’s program.

There were lights, music, tears, all the things you might find at the end of a church service where you are called to the altar for salvation.

We had been taken on a journey through our pain points and shown the way–how we could turn around our businesses and get the community and support we needed–if we would take a leap of faith and join this program.

I had figured out by then that most of what we would cover for the remainder of the day was a sales pitch to join the program. It was about $1000/month, and I was on a feast or famine revenue roller coaster at the time, so I really had no business signing up. But I wanted to be a part of the club, so I convinced some wonderful clients at the event to retain me for some future work, and I was in.

You could argue that I would “get the skills” I needed to generate that much revenue within the first few months, but the truth is, we all integrate and implement new information and teachings differently. I happen to process new material very deeply, which can take time. And with no big limit credit card to float me until I processed all this material, I was stuck panicking about making that monthly payment in addition to all my personal and business expenses.

Panic, I have found, is not a good place for manifesting money.

As a result of panic, I took on projects that were not the best fit for me (just to keep the money coming in), and ended up getting burnt out and getting seriously behind on all projects. So I was working all the time on projects I had already been paid for, with no energy left over to bring in new leads and projects. The effects of this downturn lasted several months.

If I could go back in time and talk to myself, I would give younger Liz a few “don’ts” when it comes to choosing a business coach and program:

1. Don’t join a program because of FOMO (fear of missing out). Your desire to “belong” may override your common sense.

2. Don’t rationalize that you will suddenly make enough money to cover the cost and all will be ok. Although that’s a great goal to have, and you may in fact rocket to that 5-figure month after joining, it will take time to figure out how to consistently have 5-figure months.

3. Don’t assume that because you have joined a top-tier program, that you will not be upsold again, possibly experiencing another case of FOMO. It happens!

I would give her some “do’s” as well!

1. If possible, DO choose a coach who works mainly with people who do what you do.

I eventually found a coach who works specifically with web designers. I got more focused and specific guidance that applies directly to my field, and I completed the year-long program feeling like I had made a wise investment in myself and my business.

2. DO start taking in this coaching in smaller pieces to see how long it takes you to implement new information.

If this coach offers 4-week courses, try one of them out. If you find yourself taking two months afterward just to implement what you have learned, then you might find a longer, more intense program overwhelming.

3. DO take what resonates with you and leave behind what doesn’t.

If you were always a teacher-pleasing, straight-A, gold star student, leave that behind when you hire a coach. I hear people say, “I want to do xyz, but she [the coach] might not let me yet.” Your coach is not responsible for the decisions you make in your business. Take ownership of your own choices and your own intuition.

4. DO talk to a variety of people who have gone through the program, not just the shiny, smiling ones on stage.

Get a clear picture of how to get the most out of the program and assess how ready you are to absorb all the material and implement the new skills you will learn.

I have seen countless entrepreneurs committing to high-priced coaching when they are not ready. They spend tens of thousands of dollars and expect (or need) a quick return on their investment. Or they see their coach or others in their mastermind experiencing astronomical growth while they flounder, wondering what’s wrong with them.

Pushing through your limits can be quite invigorating, but you know you have stretched yourself too far when you are in a chronic state of panic.

Essentially ask yourself, “Do I have the time and money to commit to this program WITHOUT going into panic? Or opening new credit cards? Or selling my grandmother’s fine china?

If I could make a different decision in that moment with the lights, music and tears, I can’t say 100% that I would have walked away.

What I would have done was step out of the room to check in with myself and tune in to what I really wanted. I would make each choice mentally and connect with my intuition to see if I felt expansive or contracted.

And I would have made my final decision from that emotionally sovereign space, not from the excitement of being swept up in a live event.

If I were a coach, I would want a roster of clients who had made their decisions from that empowered place, knowing that they were actually ready.

One of the things I am working on in my own business is helping potential clients determine when/if they are ready to have a website built. Stay tuned for more on that topic!

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