Questions

11th May 2021

Is business coaching snake oil?

Yes, I am embarrassed to say, too often it is.

I am a professional business coach and I believe business coaching is hugely valuable and hugely effective, but it is an unregulated industry and too often the narrative is about getting rich quick, with zero effort, minimum change and instant results.

Like most ‘instant’ solutions, this isn’t real but can be hugely appealing. Too often products are sold promising instant and immediate results with zero effort. If it seems too good to be true it probably is.

But in the same way you will find charlatans peddling instant weight loss potions it doesn’t mean that the medical profession is worthless, don’t let the get rich quick merchants  persuade you that professional business coaching is worthless.

Personally I have been fooled into parting with lots of money on the promise of instant results to be totally disappointed with the outcomes. There are lots of snake oil salesmen about. I would argue they aren’t really coaches. They are selling a product, not coaching, which you may or may not be able to get to work for you.

Coaching isn’t about telling you what to do or about selling you a solution. It is about helping you to find the best way forward for you. In my experience no two clients react and respond in the same way or in the same time. Which is one of the reasons I don’t engage for 4 or 8 sessions, and why every engagement has its own bespoke and individual roadmap.

If there was a single one size fits all solution to growing a successful business then someone would have written that book and we would all be following that blueprint, but of course we all know that success comes in many different ways many different people. The ways to success are as numerous as there are successful people.

What is important is that you find the way that works best for you. Whatever that is, I promise you it wont come without hard work and change. If you already knew what to do, you would be doing it and if you already had the skills and discipline you would already be getting the results. If you aren’t, something needs to change and what needs to change is you. If you think change is easy just try writing with the other hand for the next two weeks. You can do it. You can learn to write with the other hand but it won’t be easy and it certainly won’t be instant.