Book Review: The Prosperous Coach by Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin

prosperous coach
The first word that comes to mind when I think about this book is: Wow.

Seriously wow.

And like all things ‘wow’, it’s not the quality of the tips and strategies that make this a ‘wow’, but the shift in mindset that it produces.

To understand why this is a ‘wow’ for me, you need to know a little bit about my background.

You see, I was bought up in a single parent, working class family of 4 kids. Money was always tight. I was always the poor kid who had to try and find next year’s school uniform in the second hand bin at school.

My mother worked EXTREMELY hard and looked after us incredibly well considering the circumstances, but one incredible woman raising 4 kids is always going to be tough.

This meant that my underlying belief about money was that it was scarce. It was a precious resource that had to be collected and saved at all costs.

Being the ‘me’ centered human being that I am, I automatically assumed that this meant money was scarce for everyone else and this carried over into my coaching practice.

I originally charged only $20 for my ebook and my 5 week workshop was originally priced at $249 (Yes, you read that right).

During my time behind the helm of The Attraction Institute, I was blown away when I was able to gradually increase the book price to $47 and the workshop price to $1,190. I thought I was the new king of money and that I could take over the world!

Little did I realise that there were coaches around the world charging $2,000, $5,000, or even $10,000 A MONTH for their services.

This is what The Prosperous Coach taught me: that money is only as scarce as you believe it is and you can really charge a lot more money for creating incredible changes in peoples lives.

There are people who’re making over $1,000,000 coaching people who from what I’ve seen, aren’t any better coaches than I am.

The only difference between me and them is that they know that money isn’t scarce and they aren’t afraid to ask for it.

That’s it.

And this is why The Prosperous Coach was a ‘wow’ for me.

It helped me see the limitations in my thinking and opened my eye’s to what was really possible.

It showed me that the world out there is far bigger than I could possibly imagine and I was the only one who stopping myself from experiencing it to the fullest (always a great realisation).

Now, it wasn’t just the fact that this book changed my mindset that gave me the belief that I had the capacity to make a real living as a coach (rather than the week-to-week wage I’d been making) is the quality of the tips in the book.

If you know anything about looking beyond the surface and finding the core factors that drive personal characteristics and habits, you’ll be able to see just how surface level and superficial the tips and tricks they offer as ways to become a more prosperous coach are.

This told me one thing: the authors of this book don’t really understand people.

And if they’re making $1mil+ per year with this advice, then I can do it to.

In Summary

If you’re wondering what you need to do to create a thriving coaching practice filled with high-performing and high-paying clients, then this is a great book to read.

It won’t give you a solid breakdown of tools you need to create this practice but it will help you shift the one thing that’s really preventing you from creating this reality: your mindset.

If you’re interested in getting ‘The Prosperous Coach’, you can get it here in softcover or instantly on kindle.

How I built a thriving coaching business in less than a year

How I built my coaching business

The one question I regularly get asked from clients, colleagues, and friends is: “How did you build your coaching practice so fast?”

It doesn’t seem that fast to me, but technically I’ve been in business for less than a year so I suppose it could be considered “fast.”

I know from collecting your feedback that some of you like stories and some of you like actionable advice with exactly what you need to execute. So I’ll give you both.


The Story

I’ve been a coach for most of my life.

I was a huge nerd (and still am) who spent most of his weekends in the public library. I have early childhood memories of walking up to the checkout desk with a stack of the maximum allowed 25 books as tall as the space between my hands and my chin.

Sometime in high school I stumbled onto the personal development, self-help, leadership, management section. I dove in headfirst and devoured everything I could. I was reading books written for senior executives and implementing the concepts with my friends and classmates.

In my undergraduate and graduate studies, I was that mildly annoying student who was involved in everything. You’d see me all over campus, speaking to groups of students for college wide initiatives and creating programs for the student body.

Looking back, I held many of these leadership positions not from a place of service, but from a place of ego, wanting to feel significant or important. I made dozens of mistakes and pissed a lot of people off.

After graduate school, I began a career in human resources because I thought that of all of the functions, I would have the highest immediate impact in the organization. I enjoyed handling complex employee relations issues and coaching leaders, but the busywork and unnecessary meetings were draining.

I took a coaching fundamentals program as part of the high potential program I was in. I started coaching friends outside of work, simply to sharpen my coaching skills.

Life was good, I made great money, and I almost enjoyed going to work every day.

And then my mom died.

A funny thing happens after your first big loss. Very little matters anymore.

Money doesn’t matter. Status doesn’t matter. Fancy shirts and shoes don’t matter.

Only love matters.

So I left my corporate job in December 2011 and committed a full year to being in the service of others.

Looking back I had no idea what I was doing.

I just knew that I was really sad and that the thing that brought me the most happiness was serving others.

In February 2012, I sold everything I own and hit the road, going wherever my heart took me.

In March 2012, I sent an email to 50 entrepreneur friends telling them that I would support them in whatever they needed. Some of them I coached directly, some of them I supported in their projects, and some of them I helped with their marketing and branding.

In May 2012, David and I started a 94 day road trip driving 12,000 miles across the United States doing volunteer work for A Summer To Serve.

In June 2012, I began Martha Beck’s life coach training program and quickly began using the coaching tools on everyone who I came across.

Throughout the course of the year, I provided hundreds of hours of pro-bono coaching. I coached on everything from weight loss to workplace issues to sexual dysfunction.

It wasn’t my intention at all, but the more I served the world, the more people wanted to step up to support me. I was building social capital at a rapid pace. People who I looked up to in the entrepreneur space kept telling me, “Let me know how I can support you in the future. Whatever you need, just ask.”

Then in December 2012, I decided to make things more official. The year of service was almost over.

I sat down with a pen and a pad and crafted out my ideal work-week. It is my life after all.

I decided that I would coach ten clients every week, five on Mondays and five on Tuesdays. I would coach them for an hour, with thirty minute breaks in between each session to decompress a bit.

Then I wrote this blog post asking for clients who wanted to do some work together. Notice that I still wasn’t charging, but I wanted to see if I actually enjoyed coaching ten clients every week.

Of the seventeen applications I got, I picked the ten that I wanted to work with the most and coached them for the four weeks in December.

As my year of service came to a close, I decided that I would coach another ten clients, but this time on a pay-what-you-can-afford arrangement. I also decided what my rates would be and after asking all of my coach friends, I settled in on $800/month for four sessions a month.

Most of my coach friends were charging $1000 or even $1500 a month, but in that moment I only felt comfortable setting my rates at $800.

So I wrote this blog post and put out an application for a pay-what-you-can-afford program. I anchored my rates at $800/month and allowed another ten clients to do some work with me at whatever level of investment they were able to.

The clients came in at all different price points. Some paid the full $800 and some paid as low at $100. But I still gave them my absolute best, regardless of what they paid.

Looking back, the clients who invested the most in themselves had the best results. Funny how that works isn’t it?

In my first month in business I made $3200 and I was thrilled. This covered my expenses in full, being a travel hacking digital nomad and all, and I was relieved that my business was an instant success.

Then I made the same offer in February and I only sold $1100 in coaching services. I freaked out a little bit and thoughts of homelessness and poverty started dancing around in my head.

Little did I know that I was just going through The Dip and that this was a normal part of launching a new business.

Then in March, I had an opportunity to travel across Europe for one of my best friend’s 40th birthdays. I contemplated what to do. Here I was two months into a new business and I was going to close up shop for a month to party for a month.

After giving it a lot of thought I decided that I wouldn’t want to miss this once in a lifetime opportunity just to stay at home and work on my business. So I went and partied around the world for a month straight. And lived to tell the story.

As I was on my month long adult spring break, I got the email that would change my coaching practice forever. Jonathan Mead, an entrepreneur who I looked up to greatly (and still do), reached out to me do some work together.

I remember looking at the email thinking, “Holy shit! Jonathan Mead wants me to coach him?!”

I’ll never forget our first call. I delivered. He showed up fully. And we started doing some heavy lifting together.

Every week as I pushed him to his edge, I pushed mine as well. I remember a couple of calls thinking, “I don’t know how much more I can help this guy.” But somehow I did.

And as I got more confident in my coaching, I started charging more.

I raised my rates to $1000/month after I showed up huge at World Domination Summit, hosting five events, including two Authentic Relating workshops with 40 people each that stretched me so much as a facilitator, I could hardly function afterwards.

I raised my rates to $1500/month after Dane Maxwell’s birthday party in Des Moines where I realized I could provide massive value to men running businesses in the multiple-six and seven figures.

Then I recently raised my rates to $1000/month for two sessions a month instead of four. It just felt right. With the launch of The Conference For Men coming up soon, I don’t have the time or energy to take anyone on who isn’t an absolute Hell Yes. So the handful of clients I have right now are all the epitome of “ideal client.”

And now I schedule all of my client sessions on the first and third Tuesdays of every month. That’s it.

If someone can’t make those times, they probably aren’t my ideal client. And I have a handful of coaches who I can regularly refer business to. And I do.

So here I am today.

Exactly seventeen months ago I was lying on a mattress in the basement of my friend’s house, crying myself to sleep. I had no mom, no job, no home, no girlfriend, and no place to sleep that night. I had hit complete rock bottom.

I was so scared that I had made a fatal mistake and that I wouldn’t be able to recover.

Now, I’m just… happy. And remarkably free.

And I wish I could say that it was all part of my master plan, but I just kept playing to my edge and following my heart.

That’s all you have to do.

Grow and love. Grow and love. Grow and love.

So here are what I think are the key takeaways from my coaching story. And included are some actionable takeaways for you to EXECUTE, instead of just reading this and moving on with your day.


The Key Takeaways

1. Coaches Coach

I recently had a prospective client send me this email after we had already set up an introductory session together.

Just a quick update for our meet and greet tomorrow. I just found out my current business coach is going to be able to keep working with me as is stands now. I was preparing for replacing him, so this may change things a bit because he coaches me twice a month via skype and emails in between at no charge in exchange for professional endorsements and garden and landscape maintenance consulting because of my financial situation. I don’t have a lot of extra money right now and winter is coming where my business is extra slow.
I don’t want to waste any of your time… and would still like to meet you and find out more about what you do if that still works for you given my situation?

I wrote him back:

Yep, that works. 

I’m a coach. And coaches coach.

So talk to you on Thursday still at 12:30pm PST.

And that’s the honest truth.

I’m going to get him on the phone, deliver massive value, and see what happens from there. Maybe he’ll work with me in the future when things change for him financially. Maybe he’ll refer business to me. Or maybe he’ll just never forget the day that guy got on the phone with him and changed his life.

EXECUTE: If you have openings in your schedule, then offer someone your services for free. Not just anybody, but someone who you would absolutely love to work with. If you don’t have openings in your schedule, then stand up and do a little celebration dance. You deserve it.


2. Go To Where Your Clients Are

Repeat after me:

“I cannot start a business by sitting at home all day. I need to be in front of actual human beings as much as possible.”

I’ve built this business by going to where my clients are. I’ve been to all three World Domination Summits, I’ve been to the past two SXSWs, I went to my first Burning Man this year, and I spend lots of time in Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland, Austin, and New York City (all filled with exactly the kind of men who I work with).

In a week I’m going to my first Awesomeness Fest and even though it will be roughly a $3000 investment, I’m absolutely certain I’ll recoup the investment (probably on the first night).

You have to go to where your clients are. Not to sell them, but to deeply understand who they are, what their pain points are, and how you can best serve them.

EXECUTE: Choose a conference, workshop, or event to attend in the next 90 days. Purchase a ticket or flight to make your commitment set in stone. Go to where your clients are. They certainly aren’t going to come to your apartment (that you haven’t left in the past four days).


3. Bring Awesome People Together

As I travel around the world, I frequently host entrepreneur meetups in the cities that I visit. Just this year I’ve hosted or co-hosted meetups in St. Louis, Berlin, Medellin, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Portland, Phoenix, and New York City.

In a couple weeks I’m throwing a LAUNCH EVERYTHING party to celebrate the launch of everything I’ve been working on for the past several months. Why?

Because it will be fun.

Remember, there is never a bad reason to bring awesome people together. Sometimes my meetups draw a crowd of 25 and sometimes it’s just a couple of us. But every time, the people who were meant to be there show up.

EXECUTE: Host a meetup in the next 90 days. Make a list of your favorite people in the local community and invite them all over for dinner or drinks. Tell them, “You are all the favorite people I know and I want you to meet each other.”


4. Ask The Questions Everyone Else Is Afraid To

Do you know that feeling when you want to say something to your partner, client, or friend, but you don’t? And you can literally feel it sitting in the back of your throat?

I don’t have that anymore.

I just speak my truth in every moment and ask questions that I’m sometimes a bit afraid to ask.

But nine times out of ten the conversation goes to a new depth that brings a level of self-awareness that wasn’t there before. And the person is deeply grateful that you had the courage to ask the question that they had been waiting all their life to be asked.

What questions do I ask?

Try something around Love, Sex, or Death.

That will get you somewhere fast.

EXECUTE: Ask someone a bold question this week. There are dozens of opportunities passing you by on a daily basis. Today is the day you start speaking your truth.


5. Relentlessly Serve The World

I just read Your First 1000 Copies by Tim Grahl. The guy is a walking New York Times Best Selling author factory.

I heard him speak at Pam Slim’s Body Of Work Live event this past weekend and he shared his definition of marketing (that I completely agree with). He says Marketing is these two things:

  1. Building long lasting connections with people.
  2. Being relentlessly helpful.

I’m constantly looking for ways to serve my friends and clients. When I walk into a room, I look for the person who needs the most help and do everything in my power to bring them up.

What if instead of trying to GET as much as possible from the world, you tried to GIVE as much as possible?

It’s worked for me so far. 

EXECUTE: Go out of your way to make someone’s day today. You know who needs your help right now, so offer it. Don’t do it from an intention of “quid pro quo” though. Do it because serving others is the greatest use of your time and energy.


6. Directly Ask For Business

When I hear someone complaining about their wife, their employees, or their lack of sales, I ask them the magic question: “Do you want some help with that?”

Then I schedule a call with them in the next week and help them. Afterwards I ask them if they want to start an official coaching relationship and/or if they know anyone else who would benefit from this work.

Where I see most life coaches failing is in the customer acquisition process (or any service provider for that matter).

They hide behind their blogs, newsletters, and social media, fooling themselves that they are doing “marketing.” But they haven’t directly asked someone for business in over a year.

So instead of coaching, they keep reading blogs on blogging or take more marketing workshops in an attempt to “attract more customers” to them.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve certainly had my share of customers begin a coaching relationship from my blogging and social media presence, but if that’s all I relied on, I would be in trouble.

Ask for business directly. Be bold. Be an example for your clients on how to model a sales conversation.

If you truly believe in the power of your craft, it is a disservice to NOT sell someone when you hear them complain about something that you could help them with.

EXECUTE: Make a proposal to a prospective client today. Again, you know exactly who this is. You’ve been thinking about working with them for a while now. Just ask.


7. Be Willing To Walk Away

I still take free consultations off of my website. Some of my friends have told me to stop wasting my time with free consultations, but I still enjoy jumping on the phone with someone who had the courage to fill out a coaching interest form for some guy who they’ve never met before.

I’ll be honest though, most of those consultations don’t turn into a coaching relationship, but I still always leave them with as much support as possible. I’ll recommend books, or blogs, or programs that could help them with what they are struggling with.

Sometimes though I find a good fit with a client, but they aren’t able to pay my full rates. Then they make an offer much lower than what I charge.

This is where I choose to walk away.

A huge piece of my coaching is helping my clients raise their rates and get more business from the clients that they want to work with the most. If I kept lowering my rates on every consultation, how could they trust me to be able to help them charge what they are worth?

Your rates are simply the filter for the clients that you want to work with. And I’ve learned from experience that the client who doesn’t pay your full rate is the client who doesn’t play full out.

And you only want clients who are a Hell Yes.

So in this instance, say Hell No.

EXECUTE: Do you have a client who you don’t want to be working with any more? Fire them. Just tell them the truth and see what happens. Then breathe into the new space you just created.


8. Be Willing To Fail

I’ve been launching new product and service offerings like crazy lately. Sometimes they come to me in the shower and sometimes they come to me on a walk.

I launched The One, which has turned into one of my best ideas ever. Sam and I have made tremendous progress together and I’ve enjoyed every minute of working with him.

I’ve launched some offerings that didn’t sell though. We launched an opportunity for one to five men to spend the afternoon with us in Santa Monica. No one bought it. But we had an amazing evening just by ourselves.

And no one even knows that we didn’t sell any spots.

Oops, until now.

The point though is that sometimes you have to be willing to fail to grow. It’s better to go for it and fail, then sit with the regret of never having taken that chance.

EXECUTE: Make an outrageous ask in your business today. Put together a new product or service offering and sell it to some of your best clients. They might just say Yes!


9. Charge What You’re Worth

I got this brilliant concept from Jo Westwood at the Trailblazer’s Retreat. It’s simple, but it hit me hard.

“Double your rates today. You might lose half your customers, but you’ll be making the same amount of money and working half the hours.”

I’ve found that as I charge more, I attract more of the clients that I’m really excited to work with.

Money is just an exchange of value. You and only you decide how much you want to charge for the services that you deliver.

If you think your product or service is a commodity, then it already is.

EXECUTE: If you’re having trouble saying your rates to clients, practice it. Literally look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I charge $XXX a month” until there is no fear or hesitation left. I’ve literally looked at myself in the mirror and repeatedly said “I charge $1000 a month” until it felt as normal as saying “My name is Mike.”


I truly hope you got something from my story. I spent most of the day writing this and then coming up with the exercises above to help you grow your business.

If you can do me a favor, share this post on social media or with a friend who could use it right now.

And most importantly, actually DO some of the exercises above! And afterwards email me and let me know how it went.

The biggest paychecks I get are your big wins and success stories.

Now get out there and start serving.



Written by Mike Hrostoski

Republished with permission. The original article can be found here.


Men’s Coaching Foundations 1: Challenge Identification

Coaching Foundations 1:Challenge Identification

NOTE: If you haven’t already read the article ‘The Problem with Men‘, please do that first. It’s necessary background information for delivering effective coaching.

You can’t fix a problem until you know what it is.

Well, actually, that’s a lie. You can fix a problem without knowing what it is. You can keep trying different methods, techniques and tools until you accidentally stumble onto something that seems to work and the problem seems to vanish.

I know this because before I knew what I was doing, this was my approach.

I would try and try and try and eventually (most of the time), the problem would vanish.

The problem with this is that at best, it’s hit and miss. You’re just throwing mud at the wall and hoping that something sticks.

And at worst, you could be taking the client down a path that not only doesn’t eliminate the real challenge, but actually makes it worse.

You could be reinforcing the very issue that the client came to solve and leaving them with a tougher road ahead.

To make sure you don’t end up not only wasting yours and your clients time and money, and exacerbating the challenges they’re facing, you MUST start any coaching session by identifying the ACTUAL challenge that your client is facing.

How do you do that? That’s a good question.

There are two KEY concepts that you must understand to be able to do this effectively.

1. Identifying his Dependence

The first step in any coaching session is to work out what the real challenge is for yourself. Not to blurt it out and throw it in the clients face, but to understand for yourself, what’s really going on underneath the surface.

You have to work out for yourself, what the client is depending on to have what experience.

NOTE: If you haven’t done it yet, read this article. It’ll help you understand what Dependence is and how it works.

Both of these parts are essential in finding the actual challenge because different people can depend on the same thing for different experiences and also seek the same experience through completely different pathways.

A client could be chasing women because he feels disconnected from people around him and wants to feel connected.

A client could be chasing women because he feels insignificant and thinks getting a woman will make prove that he’s significant and important.

A client could getting into physical confrontations because he thinks that will prove he’s significant.

The desired experience and pathway that are being followed are two totally separate elements and you must identify both of them to understand the real challenge that your client faces.

This becomes especially important in step two as you can’t facilitate a client working out what’s going on if you don’t know for yourself.

Don’t understand what I’m talking about? That’s because it’s explained here:

2. Fostering Independence

Answer this: If you just tell a client how he’s being Dependent and how to fix it, have you helped him become more Independent?

If he implements that solution, he might be less Dependent in that one area of his life. He might have dealt with his Dependence on women, on money, or on french poodles, but what happens when he faces another challenge?

What happens when he’s feeling stuck and frustrated and wants a way to deal with it?

Is he going to be better at finding his own solution? Or, because you just told him the problem last time without helping him realise the problem for himself, is he just going to be Dependent on you to show him the answer again?

Helping a client develop Independence doesn’t just involve showing him how and where he’s being Dependent and then telling him how to fix it because all you’re doing is making him Dependent on you to identify his problems and give him solutions.

Whilst you might help him be less Dependent in one area, you’re fostering Dependence in another.

And whilst this might be great for your coaching practice and bank balance, it’s going to SIGNIFICANTLY reduce the change you make in the world.

This is why in order to really help the client develop independence, you must avoid telling them the problem and solution and always help them identify their own challenges and solutions.

“Do I just sit there in silence then?”

Yes. That’s what you need to do. Just sit there in silence. Winner’s choice 😉

Of course not. The way you facilitate a client finding his own challenges and problems is instead of telling him the problem or solution, you ask him questions that lead him to discover his problems and solutions.

You don’t tell him: “You depend on women’s responses to feel good about yourself.”

You ask him: “If you didn’t depend on positive responses from women to feel good about yourself, would it matter how they responded to you?”

You don’t tell him: “You’re dependent on other people’s permission to do what you want.”

You ask him: “If you didn’t rely on other peoples permission to do what you want, would it matter what they thought of you?”

Asking questions forces the client to analyse his current situation and helps him develop the ability to independently identify his problems and solutions rather than becoming Dependent on you for solutions.

Now, this might all seem very abstract without a concrete example so let me walk you through a typical coaching session.

Let me run you through an example:

EXAMPLE: Help, I'm running out of things to say!

Client: Help me! I’m running out of things to say when I’m talking to women. How do I fix this?

Coach: Ok, we can work on this. Running out of things to say isn’t the problem here. It’s a symptom of the problem. You’re running out of things to say because you want something and you think that running out of things to say is stopping you from getting it. So, what is running out of things to say stopping you from getting?

Client: Well, I meet hot women and start talking to them and then my mind goes blank. They just end up walking away and I end up standing there feeling stupid and hopeless and… alone.

Coach: Ok, so what do you want to happen?

Client: Well, I want her to be attracted to me!

Coach: Is that it? Is that the end point? Do you want her to be attracted to you and then just walk away afterwards or is there more? How far do you want this to go? What’s the end point?

Client: Oh, I see. Umm… Well, sex would be great, but more than that, I just want her to flirt with me and be attracted to me. I want her to want me. I want to be wanted.

Coach: And how would you feel if that happened?

Client: Umm… I don’t know. I guess I’d feel important, connected to someone… I’d feel like I was valuable and could achieve things. Like I was significant.

Coach: Ok, great response. So help me out here. I’m just trying to put this all together in my head. Can you just fill in the blanks here.

How do you currently feel when interacting with women?

Client: Umm… I feel hopeless and alone.

Coach: How do you want to feel?

Client: …connected and significant.

Coach: And how are you currently trying to experience that?

Client: …by getting women to like me and approve of me.

Coach: Great. So you currently feel hopeless and alone, you want to feel connected and significant, and the way you’re trying to experience that is by trying to get women to want you. Does that sounds like an effective way to feel connected and significant? Can you ever control what people think of you? Can you ever guarantee that they’re going to respond positively?

Client: No, you can’t. When you put it like that, it doesn’t sound very effective at all. It sounds difficult and stupid.

Coach: And how do you think this is effecting the way women respond to you? Do you think they’re excited by talking to a guy who needs their approval? Do you think they get a little wet around a guy who feels lonely and hopeless?

Client: Yeah, I see…

Coach: Great, because this is the real problem here. It’s not that you’re running out of things to say or that you want to feel important and connected, it’s that you’re trying to feel important and connected by getting approval from a place that you simply can’t control. And what’s making it even harder is the fact that you’re currently not the kind of Man that women want to respond positively to and so it’s making it even MORE difficult.

Client: Oh wow, I see that. I’m depending on women to make me feel good and the fact that I’m doing that is making them even less reluctant to make me feel good.

Coach: So talk to me about running out of things to say… Is this the real problem or is there something deeper?

Client: It’s just the surface level of the real problem. Isn’t it? So what’s the solution? If getting it from women isn’t going to work, what do I do?

Coach: That’s a good question…

In Conclusion

That’s one example of why it’s necessary to work with a client to find the actual problem they’re dealing with and how to do it in a way that fosters Independence.

If you just worked on coming up with things to talk about, then not only are you not fixing the real problem, you’re reinforcing the idea that it’s important to get people to respond positively to you.

This is the end of Coaching Foundations 1: Challenge Identification. Once you know what the issue is, you need to facilitate the client finding a solution to their challenge in a productive way.

You can read how to do that in Coaching Foundations 2: Finding a solution.

The Problem with Men

The problem with men

Despite what it might seem like on the surface, through the stories you’ve been told by personal development gurus and seen on the nightly news, the problems and challenges faced by Men aren’t multi-faceted, multi-dimensional, socially manifested distasters.

There aren’t hundreds of different issues that need to be addressed by hundreds of different and individually tailored solutions.

There is only one problem.

One simple, single, core issue that’s responsible for the pain, frustration, disappointment, and hopelessness.

What is it? Well, to understand it, you have to understand something about to internal drives and desires of Men. And to do that, we have to go back to the core.

What do Men really want?

For centuries, people have pondered the mysteries of life.

– Where did we come from?
– How did we form?
– Where are we going?

And most importantly, what do we want?

Whilst the first three are hotly debate topics with many different people backing many different opinions, the fourth is much simpler to answer.

It’s plastered across billboards, blasted at you through TV screens, and it screams at you from every second page of most glossy magazines.

We desire: Experience.

We want to feel… Happiness, excitement, love, connection, freedom, passion, power, and move away from any experience that feels wrong.

Whilst you might think that our evolution has made humans logical and thought based creatures, we still can’t escape our mammalian desires.

Whilst we can use logic to solve problems and create the greatest constructions this earth as ever seen, the deep drives that fuel these achievements is experience.

Here’s a simple experiment you can try to see this in action.

Think of an object our outcome you’d like: maybe a job you’ve always dreamed of, a competition you want to win, or even a girl you’d like to have in your life.

Then, as you’re thinking about it, ask yourself one simple question: In this moment, why do I want this?

Don’t drift off into explanations about evolutionary psychology or social conditioning, just focus on your present moment desires.

In this moment, why do I want this?

In this moment, why do I want this?

In this moment, why do I want this?

Keep going down until you get to “…because I want to feel xxxxxx”

Then, when you’re at that level, ask yourself one more time: “In this moment, why do I want to feel xxxx?”

There’s only one place to go from there: “Because it feels good.”

You might be surprised to hear this but this is something that one group of people have known for a VERY long time and have actively exploited it for their gain.

No, it’s not personal development gurus or psychologists. It’s the last place you’d think of that also, the most obvious group when you really sit down and think about it.

It’s advertisers.

Have a look at any really successful advertising campaign. What makes it so powerful?

– Is it the long and detailed lists of components that went into each product?
– Is it the wide variety of colours you can purchase the product in?
– Is it the dry and monotone narrator explains all the features of the company warehouse where it was made?
– Is it the cold hard facts about the sales process?

Or is it something deeper? Is it something very powerful, real, and visceral?

Advertisers don’t sell you on a facts, figures, stats, and information, they sell you on experience.

Watch this Ferarri ad:

This is a car that actually has the technical specifications to blow most cars out of the water, yet there wasn’t one mention of what’s under the hood.

Instead, they sold something else.

The lines and curves, the open road, the roar of the engine, the drifting in and out of lanes, exotic locations… They didn’t sell you on stats and figures, they sold you on experience. They sold you on sex appeal, on power, on freedom, on excitement, on adventure.

They sold you on everything you currently don’t have in your life but want.

Here’s another example. See if you can work out what they’re selling before you get to the end.

You might guess sun glasses, but you’d be wrong. They’re selling a lifestyle. They’re selling a world that’s out of reach to most Men. And most importantly, they’re selling the experience of what it’s like to exist in that world.

They’re selling the feeling of power or importance… They’re selling you on the feeling of being a Man.

Have a look at any powerful, moving, and inspiring advertising campaign and you’ll see that marketers and advertisers have known something about people for a very long time that most personal development guru’s still haven’t worked out.

Why does this matter at all?

Good question.

If the core desire behind any decision you make is to experience something – whether that be have more positive experiences or less negative experiences – then what does this mean for the guys you coach (as well as for your life)?

It means that every decision you make in your life and the guys you’re coaching make in their life, is to move closer to or further away from an experience.

Every one.

On some level, even if you don’t recognise it or aren’t consciously aware of it at this point in time, you’re attempting to move towards an experience or away from it.

The experience might change over the day, the hour, or even the minute, but there’s a driving factor.

This is the reason you eat the food you eat and drink the drinks you drink. This is the reason you chose not to approach that woman in the street and why you’re beating yourself up about now. This is the reason you chose that job and why you’re trying to find a new one right now. It’s all about experience.

This is the reason your client ate the food he ate and drinks the drinks he drinks. This is the reason he chose not to approach that woman in the street and why he’s beating himself up about it now. this is the reason he chose the job he’s working and why he’s trying to find a new one right now. It’s all about experience.

Now, this in itself isn’t the problem faced by Men. Desiring experience is fine in itself. The real problem is something related to this.

You see, desiring acceptance or power or significance isn’t a problem. It’s not going to get you in any trouble or put up any barriers.

The problems, frustrations, and pains that your clients experience is to do with how they try and fulfil those desires.

You can try and experience acceptance by changing who you are so that other people will like you or you can try to experience acceptance by expressing yourself openly and finding people who like you for who you are.

If you try to experience acceptance by changing yourself so that people like you, you’re going to face all the challenges that come with having to be someone different around every person, every time you see them, and then only getting the approval from people who like people who change who they are to please them.

If you try to experience acceptance by expressing yourself openly and finding other people who like you for who you are, then you’re going to experience the challenges that come with trying to find the kind of people who accept people who express themselves openly.

Each pathway has it’s own unique set of barriers and frustrations that you’ll need to overcome to experience what you want.

Stop and think about this for a second: What challenges would a person face when trying to change themselves constantly so that people accept and like them? And how would they change if they decided to express themselves openly and gravitate towards people who accept and like them for who they are?

You can try and experience power by proving how much better you are than other people or you can try and experience power by leaning over your edge and challenging your fears head on.

If you try to experience power by proving how much better you are than other people then you’re going to face all the challenges that come with trying to be better than everyone else, all the time, and then constantly having to prove that so you feel good about yourself.

If you try to experience power by leaning over your edge and challenging your fear then you’re going to experience all the challenges that come from actually overcoming your fears and having to find more to push through.

Each pathway has it’s own unique set of barriers and frustrations that you’ll need to overcome to experience what you want.

Stop and think about this for a second: What challenges would a guy face if he tried to experience power by proving how much better he was than everyone else? And how would those challenges change if he tried to experience power by challenging his personal fear and limitations?

You can try and experience significance by demonstrating how successful you are to other people or you can try to experience significance by making a real difference in the lives of others.

If you try to experience significance by demonstrating how successful you are to other people then you’re going to face all the challenges that come from not only excelling at various activities and endeavours but also finding people who’re willing to validate you for your successes.

If you try to experience significance by making a real difference to the lives of others then you’re going to face all the challenges that come with identifying a challenge that others are facing and be able to provide the support they need.

Each pathway has it’s own unique set of barriers and frustrations that you’ll need to overcome to experience what you want.

Stop and think about this for a second: What challenges and barriers would a guy face if he tried to experience significance by demonstrating to successful he was to other people? And how would they change if he focussed on trying to make a difference to peoples lives?

The problems that Men face have nothing to do with what they’re currently experiencing or what they want to experience, they all stem from how they try and bridge that gap.

Whichever pathway he’s following to experience freedom, connection, significance, acceptance, self-worth, or whatever else he’s chasing, determines what barriers, problems, frustrations, and disappointments he goes through. It determines the story of his life.

This simple three part mechanism – how you feel, how you want to feel, and how you’re trying to bridge the gap – is called your Script.

But it’s not a guys Script that’s a problem. As you can see in the examples above, there are some Scripts that are FAR more functional than others whilst other Scripts create huge amounts of issues and challenges.

The problem with Men occur when they have a Script that puts their desired experience outside the realm of their control and means they have to rely on others to give them what they want.

These are the Scripts that mean guys are waiting for women to laugh at their jokes, for their family to approve of their lifestyle choices, for their friends to be impressed with the girl on their arm, and so on.

The Real Problem with Men

These dysfunctional Scripts all leave Men needing something from someone or something external and so fall under the category of Scripts called Dependence.

A Dependent Script is one that means a Man needs on something outside himself to experience what he wants.

It might be permission from his friends to do what he wants and be free, it might be direction from his family as to where he should go and what he should do, it might be the smile and nod of approval from a guy he’s never met before as he checks out the girl on his arm.

It could be any number of different external elements, but all Dependent Scripts have one thing in common: they rely on something outside of the control of the guy to experience what he wants.

It’s this external reliance that’s at the root of his issues.

Can you ever guarantee that someone is going to like the way you dress? No, but even if you could, could you ever guarantee that EVERYONE is going to like the way you dress? No, of course not.

So if you clients Script is that he feels insignificant, wants to feel significant, and the way he’s doing it is by getting positive responses from people on the way he dresses, how much control is he going to have over how significant he feels?

Is he ever going to be able to wake up with a deep sense of significance?

Is he ever going to be able to carry himself with that deep sense of calm that only comes from knowing that you made a difference?

Is he ever going to be able to smile in the face of rejection of criticism knowing that it doesn’t matter what other people think?

Dependence is the problem with Men.

This is the only challenge they’re facing.

There’s no problem with drinking. There’s a problem with Men relying on alcohol to bridge the gap between how they currently feel and how they want to feel.

There’s no problem with drugs. There’s a problem with Men relying on drugs to bridge the gap between how they currently feel and how they want to feel.

There’s no problem with violence. There’s a problem with Men feeling like violence is the only way to bridge the gap between how they currently feel and how they want to feel.

There’s no problem with guns. There’s a problem with Men feeling like they need guns to bridge the gap between how they currently feel and how they want to feel.

There’s no problem with corporate greed. There’s a problem with Men feeling like they need far more money than they could ever use to bridge the gap between how they currently feel and how they want to feel.

The list goes on.

There is no crisis that’s plaguing the hearts of Men other than a dysfunctional Script.

If at any point in time, your experience of life is dependent on how someone reacts to you or how they treat you, then you’re not in control. You’re a victim. You’re powerless. You’re forced to wait on the sidelines till whoever or whatever you’re depending on decides that it’s time to give you what you want.

If they ever decide to…

The Real Solution for Men

What if instead of depending on something external to him to make him feel significant, he had a script that allowed him to feel significant through the way he lived his life and the actions he took?

What if, instead of relying on polite approval from people around him, the guy in the last example sourced his sense of significance from supporting, guiding, and teaching people who have less than he does?

What problems and challenges would he face then?

What if his sense of significance came from saving lives at his local surf living saving club?

What problems and challenges would he face then?

What if his sense of significance came from teaching young kids how to overcome the personal limitations through coaching soccer?

What problems and challenges would he face then?

What would change if his Script allowed him to feel significant, independently of how the world responded to him?

If the problem with Men is Dependence, then the solution is simple.

It’s not telling him to ignore his desire to feel significant. It’s not repeating mantras in the mirror in an attempt to convince himself that he is already significant. It’s not trying to meditate away the pain of his existence and reach a higher plane where feelings of insignificance aren’t an issue.

The solution is to find a way to experience significance in a way that doesn’t depend on how nicely people smile at you and what they think of your brand new sweater.

The solution to Dependence is to become Independent.

The solution is to find a way to experience significance through the way you live your life and the actions you take, regardless of how people respond to you.

The solution is to find a way to experience connection independently of how much other people open up to you first.

The solution is to find a way to experience freedom independently of the amount of alcohol you can get your hands on. .

The solution is to find a way to feel powerful independently of whether or not other people do what you want.

Dependence is the problem, Independence is the solution.

In Conclusion

The real problem with Men is that the have a Dependent Script. This is the challenge that you, as a Men’s Coach, need to help them overcome.

This will be your job.

Now, whilst this might sound simple, the actual coaching process has more subtle nuances than you might imagine.

If you think you’re ready to start helping Men make a difference to their lives but aren’t sure how to start the coaching process, then you need to read this:

Coaching Foundations 1: Challenge Identification