Today I am joined by somebody who I truly believe is one of the fathers of modern-day marketing and internet marketing. I have with me the one and only Eben Pagan!
Adam: What is coaching to you?
Eben: Yeah, so most people tend to think of coaching from sports, right? That’s where it kind of grew up from, that’s where its roots were. But coaching is really about helping people take action and get results in their life. For me, I define coaching as supporting another person through a transition or a transformation in their life.
What’s happening right now is more and more of us are waking up and realizing that we want to do things in our life. We want to get in better shape, or we want to get into a relationship, or we want to start a business and make money, or we want to start a spiritual practice, or a hobby, or whatever it is.
We’re realizing, gosh, I’m just too busy or I don’t know where to go, or just fundamentally I need help, I need someone to help me do this.
So they’re reaching out to coaches and coaches are there to help people take those actions, but to stick with it over time, a transformation in life. This is something that takes a while.
Just to go through what I would call a transition, going from being single to getting into a relationship or going from one job to getting a different job, or, maybe losing 10 pounds. This is something that usually takes a person several months, which creates the basis for a great coaching relationship or a great coaching package.
Now, all of us either know coaches or we’ve gotten coaching, or we know someone that’s gotten coaching. Coaching is becoming very legitimate. There are something like a hundred thousand plus coaches now that are working.
The industry business and personal coaching is something like $17 billion a year and growing. So those are a few different kinds of facets of what coaching is and I’m glad to go deeper on any of them if you want to talk.
Adam: Out of interest, why do you think coaching is growing so fast?
Eben: It’s growing fast because we are realizing we need to learn better and faster. We’re realizing that we learn better in collaborative relationships. We learn better when we have someone there that’s doing it with us.
I mean, just the high-quality attention that you get when you have one person there who’s totally focused on listening to you, who’s working with you, who’s understanding you. That’s very, very powerful.
Adam: Yeah. I can see that and obviously I was explaining a moment ago that there are these subsets of people that when they’re an expert, they can absolutely make money coaching. But do you still think there’s money in coaching or do you think it’s been tapped out already?
Eben: Yeah. There’s a lot of money in coaching ICF. There’s not a lot of research, but the International Coach Federation, which Len started, did a survey that I read about several years ago, and this is what really grabbed my attention.
I saw in a USA Today article, that the average coach, again, this was several years ago was charging $214 per session and making $47,900 per year.
So if you do the math on this, this is working less than an hour a day, but making what is for most people, a full-time income. Now I saw a little bit of research that’s gone up from there, but the number of coaches is growing very rapidly and the whole information industry. I mean, just look at what’s happening with all these different things like Audible and Masterclass, you see all these different things.
We, humans, are waking up and realizing the idea that knowledge is power. This is the real deal, like knowledge is power, and the model that we’re moving towards in the future right now is that our skills are the assets that we have. They’re our primary assets, so your skillset, which is the unique combination of skills that you have that work together, that’s what creates your unique ability to create value.
It’s what you build your personal brand on. It’s how you can build your audience. If you’re working online, it’s the core of everything, and what I believe is that if you add coaching as the next skill that you learn, it’s the single skill that will go back and multiply the value of all of the skills and experience that you have, and also multiply the value of all the skills that you will learn in the future the most.
Adam: Yeah. I can see that. Actually, I think it’s really worth mentioning because you talk about how we’re in the Age of Information.
It’s actually funny, me and my friends, we jokingly refer to this age as the Age of Misinformation, where there are so many wannabes out there who are just uploading random videos where they haven’t done their research. They haven’t bothered developing as you call it, that skillset and they’re just crowding the world of information.
We’ve found a lot of people that are looking to hire a coach are moving away from randomly consuming the information online and trying to do it themselves.
They’re starting to realize the real value is having somebody, as you mentioned earlier, guide them through that transformation process, tailoring the advice to you rather than just popping it out online.
I think there is something truly powerful to be said about having that personal touch rather than spending all the time wading through all the information out there, trying to find the golden nugget.
Eben: Yeah. There’s another side to this too, which is the way I think about being human. This human experience here is that each of us lives in our own version of reality. It’s almost like each of us lives in our own version of the matrix, and every once in a while we jack into someone else’s matrix.
We jump in there and we check it out for a few minutes, but it’s rare that we have that feeling of really being understood, all the way to the point where, oh, there’s someone in here with me, someone else has joined my reality.
If you go into a subculture, whether it’s computer geeks or artists or people that are into sports or whatever it is, you find people they’re all kind of living in this little sub-genre of existence or a reality of culture. They feel like they belong to something.
But when you come down to your version of reality, it’s rare that you have someone that comes in there with you, joins you, sees you, and understands you. You feel like you’re being related to and coaching at its highest evolution is that.
It’s when you feel like someone is taking all of their attention, this precious attention and they’re attending to you and they’re listening and they’re curious and they want to know why and they want to know how and they want to understand what you want to do and why you want to do it.
They want to know what blocked you in the past and where you’re going and they become your cheerleader. They help sell you on doing the things that you want to do for the reasons that you want to do them and they hold you accountable.
Sometimes I say that a coach is a professional friend. It takes the best of the social skills of a friend and it puts them together with the professionalism of someone that’s going to help you get the results of a coach. When you get that and you start doing it, when you learn the skills of a coach and you start applying them with people, you see the results.
You see people are so happy and excited to have someone in their corner. To have someone in their reality with them, that they can share their dreams.
That’s clapping for them and rooting for them. It’s not only a great business. It’s not only a great entrepreneurial venture, a way to make money, have opportunities in the future and grow, and all that. But there’s a spiritual benefit that you get from it as well.
Adam: I think it’s absolutely powerful. How did you first hear about coaching?
Eben: It first came on my radar screen probably 20 years ago. I knew Thomas Leonard back in the day. My good friend, Dean Jackson, who’s the one that got me into internet marketing originally. He was friends with Thomas and I had heard about him through some other way.
So I went to one of his seminars in San Diego and he had me on stage to speak at one of his programs in this big room filled with people, with all these coaches. And I said, wow, this is like a thing, you know? He had me kind of impromptu, come up and talk about marketing and so forth. This was right around the time when I was starting with dating, when I was getting started and I read his book, which is called The Portable Coach, which has a new name now.
I started looking at this and he had some really good insights. He believed that coaching was about facilitation. It was about helping the other person do the thing. It’s not you doing it for them. The distinction that I make between coaching and consulting is that a consultant goes in and does the work, right? If a company hires you, a person hires you to do consulting, they want you to come and do the work. Usually, it’s like having an outsourced employee.
Whereas when you have a coach, the coach isn’t the one that does the work. The coach helps the client do the work. They help the other person do the work so that they can learn the skill and they can get the self-esteem reward. When I started reading books about coaching, I read Co-Coaching and read some of these other things. I said this is a really beautiful methodology. It impressed me and I’ve used it ever since.
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