In this webinar, Dave Kibby interviews Ankush Jain on how he filled his coaching practice in his first year of coaching full-time.
To find more resources for coaches, please visit https://ankushjain.co.uk/coaches/
To grow your own coaching practice and become a more impactful coach, check out Ankush’s online course with Dr Mark Howard: https://ankushkumarjain.podia.com/building-the-impactful-and-sustainable-3p-coaching-practice
How to Fill your Coaching Practice – Full Transcript
[00:00:08.08] Ankush: Hi coaches, I have got a friend with me, a colleague with me today. He’s turning the tables on me, so normally I record other people and have interviews with other people and if you don’t know who this good looking gentleman is, I don’t know if he’s going to be on my left or my right, whichever way the thing’s going to record. He’s Dave Kibby, you may have seen him in the group, and he reached out to me last week to ask if he could interview me about one of my posts I wrote about having a full practice. So, I said yes, I’m not sure why I did that now – no I’m joking – so, yeah, over to Dave really.
[00:00:45.11] Dave: Thanks Ankush. Yeah, I read Ankush’s – this is just really a little bit of settling for people listening, and probably for me as well – but I read Ankush’s post last week and it wasn’t just the fact you’ve managed to fill your practice in what is a relatively short amount of time, wasn’t just that. I think there’s so much potential from you speaking a little bit about what you’ve been doing and what’s come up for you, to help people see through the nonsense that holds all of us back, and no one’s immune from this. I know of great coaches I’ve worked with, spoken with, no one’s immune from this sort of, like, oh should I do that? Or whatever. So I think the more that people can take time to see through their own rubbish into the land of taking action, working with clients, maybe understanding more clearly for themselves what they think coaching is, and I think you’ve done all of this, so this is like a massive mind-read, massive presupposition, I think you’ve got this going on, which is why you’re filling your practice. So I just wanted to dig into that and also, I know what it was like putting a lot of stuff out there, sometimes it’s nice to have the questions asked, or maybe it will be less nice, so that’s the intention behind this recording.
[00:02:12.22] Ankush: Yeah, well whatever I’m thinking about this interview, whatever I’m feeling is just coming from my thinking, so… it’s got nothing to do with the situation, I keep telling myself.
[00:02:22.16] Dave: Yeah, that’s right yeah. So, the place I wanted to go back to, because I think it is similar to mine, so, I like it, it’s the point where you thought “I’m all in, I’m coming out of my job, I’m going to do this coaching thing,” can you tell us a little bit about that, what was going on?
[00:02:43.27] Ankush: Oh yeah, that’s a really interesting story because, about three and a half years ago is when I decided I wanted to be a coach, and I knew I wanted to be a coach, but it was like a first step, and it was another two years before I got to that place, like you say, “going all in,” and I’d like to tell you that it was just this wonderful knowing, and it was all, it just flowed and it was just one step after the other, it really wasn’t like that. It really tested my understanding of the principles. I mean, since knowing the principles, that’s been the time I’ve been most caught up in my head. And part of me has still got a bit of man-flu – either it’s going to come across like I’m really ill or, hopefully husky is what I was trying to go for.
[00:03:42.02] Dave: It’s working for me, you sound husky.
[00:03:43.16] Ankush: Thank you. Yeah, so I was working in a corporate job, and it was a very well paid, well respected job, great career, possibilities that I had off the back of it. People didn’t quit this company, unless it was for something amazing. So I’d kind of landed myself, and part of the reason I’d landed myself in this organisation in this job, was my understanding of the principles had really helped me. So, I get understanding the principles, a few months later I start getting all these job offers, and the interviews I start taking, I start flying through some of them. So I land this amazing job, and my experience of that job wasn’t great. Now what happened was, this was really quite good because up until that point, I’d gotten an insight in the principles, generally life was really good, and I thought, oh it just keeps getting better and better, and I get this amazing job and I stopped working there within two months, and my experience of it is that I hate it, and I didn’t enjoy the guys I was working for, it wasn’t what they’d sold me, and this really tested my understanding of the principles. And what I knew inside me was, I don’t want to quit this job out of misunderstanding, because misunderstanding is misunderstanding, and no matter how compelling it looks, I don’t want to do it from that.
[00:05:09.28] Dave: Sorry I know I kind of set it up, so you’re in a flow, but because I think there’s a really cool learning in here, at least that’s what I’m starting to here, so I could be making it up, but whatever. There was something in you, this is what I’m hearing right, that you wanted to go and check out, where this discomfort was coming from, is that what you’re saying, that you had this, it’s like this isn’t what I was promised, this isn’t great. But I liked that you said, “I wanted to check out, that I wasn’t going to get out.” So did you know then, that you’d made the wrong choice? Did you have an inkling for that?
[00:05:54.11] Ankush: I still don’t think I made the wrong choice. I don’t think there’s anything about choices because, you know look, and I think I’m preaching to the converted with this audience of three P coaches, that we know it only works one way. We know it works inside out. So, my life up until that point had been drastically changed when I started this job. I’d been around the Principles for about a year, and it had really deeply impacted me, and so I’d gone from, maybe this works, to oh my god, this is the most powerful change work I’ve ever come across, and every time I thought there was an exception to the Principles, I was wrong.
So I’d kind of got to this stage where I was like, chances are it’s not me, I’m seeing it wrong, should I say sorry, it’s not that I found an exception. And so, I kind of knew, and some people call it “knowing it intellectually.” So I knew intellectually, or I had an idea that even though it looked really compelling that I’d made the wrong decision and that my feelings were coming from my job, and in particular my line manager. I knew that wasn’t the case, and in fact, during, I was working there for about a year, 18 months, during that time for a lot of that I was actually getting coached by Keith Blevens, and that was, and this is why I don’t think it was the wrong decision, or I’d made the wrong decision, because it was such a great learning for me, because it really, it’s kind of where the rubber meets the road, it’s really easy to understand the principles, and go, “yeah they’re great, and life seems great,” but when I had a challenge like that, then that really tested to go, is this really true? And so, what Keith helped me to see, and through those conversations, was like, there really isn’t an exception to this, and so what happened was, even though it was really compelling, during the course of the time I was working at that company, I was like, I know I’m going to leave one day, alright that’s what I wanted, I wanted to be a coach full time, I wanted to be all in. But I wanted to do it from a place where it wasn’t because it looked uncomfortable to be in that place, because I knew I couldn’t look at myself in the eye as a three P coach or practitioner, if I wasn’t following my own advice, I wanted to do it from a grounded place, not from misunderstanding, so, what I actually did was, prior to quitting, I was like, “I want to quit on a high,” and I struggled with my boss and everything, but I thought, no, I know I’ve got the capability within me, so the funny thing was that when I quite, was at a high point, I’d had some difficult conversations with my line manager, I turned it all around, not by anyone telling me what to do, by just going, right I’m going to do this with a bit of grit and whatever else, and so when I handed my notice in, he was just shocked, he went “why now, I would’ve expected you to quit six months ago? Why now? Now you’ve turned things around, now you’re doing well, now you’ve got the career ahead of you.” And I said, “well that’s exactly why I’ve done it,” because I didn’t want to go out, by either them thinking or me thinking, it was because I couldn’t handle it or I couldn’t do it or it was a situation causing me to feel a certain way. Now, going back to your original question, which is the actual point of how do I know, what do I make the decision? I’d had this thought in my head for over a year, should I quit. And every time I knew it was misunderstanding, and I dismissed it, because it looked like my feelings were coming from the job, by the time when I actually quit, I basically got caught in a, I’ll call it a thought storm, whereas I thought, should I quit, I’m not sure, what about this, what about that? And it was like for a week, I mean, normally it lasts a few minutes, an hour, a day top, this lasted for a week, and the best that I knew in that time was, letting my mind settle. I didn’t need to make the decision straight away, I could tell I was getting caught up in this thought storm of over-thinking, and the best I could do was try and not engage with my head, and I wanted my girlfriend about it, I went, “don’t engage with me, I really want to, I really want to get caught up in this, don’t fall for it,” and she was great, she didn’t. And I had some really low points in that week, like really sad and upset and feeling sorry for myself, and feeling all caught up, but then a week later, just as I was doing my best, I had a conversation with a friend of mine, who was a lot younger, and was quitting his job to go travelling, and had a really low paid job, where he was going travelling. And in that moment I had an insight, where I thought I was bound by my pay and number of clients I had, all of that, and I needed to do a certain thing. In that moment for me I had an insight that what my friend was doing was well within my gift, and he could go off and spend a year travelling and doing this relatively low paid job, there was nothing stopping me to do it, and I was probably in a better position, because I was more experienced than him, I had probably a bit more savings than him, all this other stuff, but it was really from an insight, and it was that moment, and let me just say as well, on a very practical level, what I didn’t then do was quit the next day. What I did was, I thought, okay, this is a fairly big decision, with quite a lot of consequences for me, and not just me, for other people in my life, including my girlfriend at the time. Because I’d moved away from London where she was, there were a lot of consequences.
[00:11:52.26] Ankush: So after I had the insight, I just sat with it for a few days, and I sat with it and I sat with it, and I thought, if this is the right thing to do, it will still be the right thing to do tomorrow, and what happened was that certainty just grew, and so by the following week, I kind of handed my notice in, but in the meantime I took very practical steps to then go, okay, I’ve had the insight, now let me look, what’s my backup plan, if I needed to get another job, could I, what’s the market like going and speaking to recruits, working out where I would live, talking to my parents about different options, talking to my girlfriend whether she supports it, I did all that practical stuff as well, and one thing, you’re not asked the question, but one thing I’d spoken to another very successful coach, not a three principle coach, but a very successful coach about last year was, how there’s a lot of, “come on guys, just do it, you can be a coach,” and people don’t talk about the practicalities, and this maybe sounds really boring, but I do want to mention it, I really looked at them, and I looked at, am I putting myself in a situation where if I don’t get a client for a month or two, am I going to be out on the streets, or am I going to be in really severe difficulties? No. And I set myself in that situation where, in my head, I could have had zero clients last year, probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it, but I could have had zero clients last year and I would have been absolutely okay. And so coming from that place was just a really sensible thing to do, put no pressure on me to create any clients or anything else, although I can still do that with my own thinking, but it gave me a lot more freedom and creativity to do whatever I wanted to do, and it just made sense for me.
[00:13:54.04] Dave: That’s really cool. Do you know, I think if people only just played back only that opening section and listened to a few other things that came out of that, one of the things that really struck me that you said was actually about when you were turning it around, because I think you know, for many people, they do find themselves in, well actually I do need to pay the bills, and I’m committed to coaching but when you – and I know you must do this with your clients, like when you forensically examine what commitment looks like, so you look at what they’ve done during a day or whatever, you find they’re forensically committed to worrying. Forensically committed to being distracted by doing other things, but they’re not doing the tangible day-to-day stuff that it looks to me like you need to do to be a successful coach, those things are absent, or, and/or, the level at which those things are being done isn’t good enough, it just doesn’t cut it, you know. I look back to stuff I did in past years and it’d be like buying a dodgy car from a dodgy car dealer, but in my head thinking I’m a porsche dealer really, this is a porsche experience, it’s not, it’s a clapped out banger so the fact that you said, “I’ve lost my thread, but nevermind,” that you said, “I just turned it around,” and I think that’s so important for people to realise at any given moment, you can suddenly go, “you know what, no, I’m not going to do that stuff I’ve done before, I’m going to turn it around, and I’m going to start to look at what makes sense, what’s practical,” whether that’s insight or that’s just taking good solid, sensible advice from people who’ve trodden the path, you know, that form of learning works too. So how did you get your first client?
[00:15:52.24] Ankush: Can I answer a different question really briefly? And I’ll come back to the client piece, one thing I want to make clear to people, and I’m sharing quite openly and vulnerably today, and I really want to do that, is, when I started out in this coaching profession, I really thought it was about me, I really thought, I’m so smart, I’m so clever, I’m going to do this, I’m different, I’m special, and when I wrote the post last week, I wasn’t coming from that place and I didn’t want to come from that place, in fact what I really wanted to get across and hopefully it did was, this is really nothing about me, this really is nothing about me, it’s so, it can be so ordinary and so mundane, and so doable for every single person in this group, and let me kind of pull the curtain back a bit, you know, there are a lot of people who maybe would like to present themselves as experts and maybe I’m doing that, or it comes across in that way, but let me just pull the curtain back a little bit, I don’t have every single day as a masterpiece day, as certain coaches call it, I don’t get up at seven in the morning and watch the sunrise, work and love my work and do everything perfectly, and then have a great time with my family and all the rest of it, I’m just an ordinary human being, I have off days, I procrastinate, I do things that I shouldn’t do, and I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, and I really want that to come across to people, that what Dave and I aren’t talking about is, you’ve got to do this and this and this, and if you don’t do that, you’re not going to have a full practice, what I’m saying is there is a whole continuum, I’m better at doing what I need to do than I was before, which is why I’ve filled my practice, and I also know there’s a whole load more things to do, so, I really want to make that clear, that I really am not a perfect coach, I’m really not a perfect individual.
[00:18:09.27] Dave: I’m so disappointed by that. That’s what I was looking for in the interview.
[00:18:14.25] Ankush: All the magic is gone.
[00:18:16.19] Dave: I was hoping that you’d wake up to Mozart with the sun rising, but you’ve shattered that.
[00:18:23.17] Ankush: Yeah and you know, glide off my bed with a little halo around me. Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that.
[00:18:27.01] Dave: Wake up to 3,000 emails from people just wanting your service… I’m gutted to find out how ordinary it is, yeah.
[00:18:36.17] Ankush: I really wanted to get that across so much, coming back to your point about well where did I get my first clients, it’s really, and I will tell you, it’s really less important about where I got my clients from, because I think what I really want to focus on is the process, the system, what did I do, as opposed to where they came from, because that is what’s going to be applicable for people listening to this, and what I did was, I didn’t know too much, but I knew one or two things when I quit, and I was like, if I want to get clients, and if I’m doing this full time, I would like more clients than I’m getting when I was parttime. Because otherwise it wouldn’t be a sustainable business, wouldn’t be sustainable for me to do that, my money would’ve just run out. Well, I knew I needed to be talking to people, I knew I needed to be giving people an experience of what I do, so, here’s the first thing that I did, and some of you may remember, Brackett’s group about making a living sharing the principles. I put a post out there to say hey, I seem to be relatively having a knack about sharing the principles, whoever wants a coaching conversation, hit me up, and so I booked a whole load of calls with a lot of people about what I do and offering my services, and I got no clients from that, this is the start, but it wasn’t about getting clients or not, it was the process, I learned so much from just setting up calls every day, having coaching conversations with people.
[00:20:24.18] Dave: Give us a high spot, when you say “I learned so much,” what are the key things that come to mind, because before we started the recording, you and I were just chatting a little bit, and we were talking about stuff that is easy to overlook, and in a video you did recently you talked about that, and I was a bit gobsmacked by some of that, got to be honest. So, because we do overlook stuff all the time, and that’s the process I think you said, of living in the continuum of life, so what was it that you learned during that element?
[00:20:59.21] Ankush: Well there are a number of things that I learned, and I probably won’t remember all of them right now. So one thing that I learned was, and I’ll talk about this stuff, the other stuff we talked about, well one thing I really learned was, just and it’s intangible, but just the experience of being on a coaching call with someone, what I found was, and I don’t know if you find this Dave but, I think most people find this, that the more coaching calls you have, you just tend to get better at it, whatever that means, you know, you’re building up that knowledge and skills, and understanding or whatever else, you get better, and what I found was that up until that point, I’d been coaching for, I don’t know, two years, two and a bit years, and I’d improved, and in the first few months of me going fulltime, that exponentially increased, because I was having so many more conversations, it wasn’t rocket science, and so that shifted for me, but then, I think what you’re getting at is also just practicalities, when I was having a few calls a week, it was a lot easier to manage, when I’m having several calls a day, I was like, I can’t remember these, I need to have a really efficient system of dealing with this, and it was things just like, making sure I’ve got a really strong internet connection, making sure I had a backup, because if I’ve got a call schedule with someone, and I’ve got loads and loads of calls as well, I can’t just keep rescheduling things, so, if my internet’s down, I need a backup option, so then I had, I got a 4G mobile phone contract, which is actually faster than my broadband, but, and it was relatively inexpensive, and I got that, right now this means, if my internet’s down – which has happened because life happens – I’ve got a backup option. I also have got a calling card, so again if both of those things fail, if in the worst case scenario, I can call someone on their landline or on their mobile, it’s just practical stuff that I realised, oh, I need to have options for this. Showing up on time, again, just from a practical point of view, forget the professionalism, forget what it means to other people, just from a very practical point of view, if I’m late for appointments, and I’ve got a load in a day, it’s like going to the doctor’s surgery, at the end you’re like two hours late, it doesn’t work, it’s just not workable, it doesn’t make sense, so it’s about being on time, it’s about having gaps between coaching sessions, it’s about, when am I going to eat? About organizing my day, well, for example at the moment, I try 99% of the time, I have 7pm as a no coaching time, because that’s a time I sit down with my family and we eat dinner together, so I try to finish all my coaching calls before that, but if I have one later, it’s like, 7-8pm is sacred time. Lunch time, again I try and have 1pm every day, that’s my lunchtime, and I organize my calls around that, again it’s boring, mundane, practical stuff, but it really makes a difference, and as I said on the recent video, I think I said this on the video, I had a referral to another guy who’s in the coaching world, he’s not a coach, but he’s in the self-development world. He’s been around for a very long time, very wealthy, I had a conversation with him, and one comment he made at the end was, okay, well what’s the next step, and actually I didn’t make a proposal to him, like I said, I’ve got a full practice at the moment, for us to move forward, but he commented in terms of, you know what, you’ve definitely got the basics, he goes, it’s almost like a checklist that he was putting me in, say if there were two, but if there were two categories of coaches. There are the ones that say there are coaches, but are late and don’t show up as professionals and all the rest of it, and there’s at least he’s doing the basics, right, that already puts him into another camp of coaches.
[00:25:07.20] Dave: I like that, I want to labor that point just slightly, a little bit like we were talking offline, but, let’s say somebody was going to buy a car, because I’ve used that analogy already, there are stuff that you look for when you want to go and buy a car, now I would argue that coaching is far more important than which car you’d drive, so there are going to be tangible practical things about how you make your choices about your coach, it just makes sense doesn’t it to acknowledge that, and then therefore do something about it. I think people don’t.
[00:25:49.14] Ankush: And I’ve experienced that, and I’ve done it, so again I’d already put myself on a pedestal of something else, I’ve had calls that I’d missed earlier on, I remember very early on I had a coaching call with a client, this is very very early on in my coaching career, and I’d forgot, and I hadn’t set up a system which reminded me, and I’d gone out for dinner, luckily I’d finished and I’m coming back and see on my phone I had Skype, and I had the Skype call “ready when you are,” and I took the call, and I remember standing in Birmingham City centre, like this it my confessions of a coach, I remember standing in Birmingham City centre, having this coaching call, and the client was fine with it and it went okay, and after that, I just said to myself, I cannot do this, if I’m a professional, if I’m charging people I can’t be standing forgetting that I’ve got a coaching call, and from that moment on I used Google Calendar for all of my coaching and putting them in there and syncing it with my phone and having reminders coming up, so as much for my benefit as the client, that okay, this is what I’ve got and every day, I wake up and I look, and okay, what’s my Google calendar, that’s how I set up my day, and that’s how I worked in a corporate setting, now, that’s how I do it, doesn’t mean you’ve got to do the same thing, but, make sure that you’re on time, make sure that you’ve got a system, which works for you because these things make a difference.
[00:27:32.27] Dave: Yeah I agree. One of the things I noticed when you were starting off was, and I think you had some background in it before, was relationships, so tell us a little bit about, was that a conscious choice to focus on people with relationships, was that like a niche a specialism? How did that feature in getting your practice filled?
[00:28:01.29] Ankush: Yeah and asking that I’m realizing maybe I didn’t answer fully, where to I get my clients from. I’ve just experimented an awful lot, I’ve really experimented, I’ve tried things out, for the first couple of years of coaching, I literally would just talk to anyone and everyone, right, and anywhere I could see an opportunity to have a coaching conversation and anyone that I thought I could help, I would talk to, when I looked back, they started to be patterns, started to be general trends, and that’s when it occurred to me, oh okay I’m working with a certain type of client. It tended to be a lot of men, and it tended to be people who wanted either relationship or dating advice or things like that. Because that’s typically what a lot, in the men’s self-development world, people tend to talk about health or relationships, and as maybe some people have noticed in my posts, I’m sorting out my health right now, but I wasn’t again blowing out the illusion, I don’t have a six-pack, I know it probably comes across like that that I’m really buff in my videos, but it’s not true. So, and that was something I knew and talked about and I had an interest in, and so I just happened to end up talking about that, but it really wasn’t a conscious choice or decision, and again, I really do experiment and test, again I don’t know if I’ve said this publicly, but I’ve certainly said this a lot on coaching conversations to coaches. To date I’ve had zero clients from my podcast, I do a podcast, it costs me money to do a podcast, and I’ve got to pay for the hosting, I’ve got to pay for editing it, it’s my time that goes into it, I’ve had to pay for logos, an awful lot of stuff that goes into that, it’s not free, neither time nor money, and I’ve had zero clients out of it. Now, why do I do it? It was an experiment, and it turns out I really enjoy doing it, I really enjoy it, it’s a lot of fun, have there been ancillary benefits? Yeah, I’ve got to network a lot, I’ve got to know a lot of people, and people have got to know me a bit more, but in terms of filling my practice, what impact has that had on my practice? Probably less than 1%, if that, it’s had a very very small impact on that. What’s had an impact is talking to people, is having conversations, and not just any conversation, it’s having conversations in a way where I’m helping them, where I’m serving them, so, and that’s something that I’ve got better at, something that I’ve learned, but it’s really, I’ll tell you what’s changed, before I used to talk a lot about coaching, so maybe I’d listen to someone, and then I’d be like, oh you should do coaching, or have you heard about the three principles? And I was selling, I was telling them about it, and maximum someone would go, oh alright, maybe I’ll check out this book, or maybe I’ll listen to the audio you sent me, and I did get clients through that. What’s really changed for me is slowing down a lot more, really listening to clients, potential clients, really listening to people, hearing what’s going on for them, and if it makes sense, sharing something with them in that moment, which I think could help them, when it comes to then creating clients, what I’ve also realised is before, I would take the first problem that they had, jump on it and go, principles can fix that, I can help you. And people don’t, and again this is just a practical thing and people might disagree with me, but people don’t tend to pay to be a bit happier, people don’t tend to pay for small problems that they might be having, even though in the moment you might think that would really help them, it’s a totally different thing to what they think they need or they would like, and so what I’ve found is, and it’s more enjoyable for me, what I enjoy working with people on, what people pay for, is more significant shifts, that’s what people pay for, and it makes sense. If I said to you, let’s say you wanted to improve your health this year, if I go, “Dave I can make you 1% better, will you pay me a lot of money?” Probably not, but if I said, “Dave, work with me, and we can have you looking and feeling, not only what you want, but even better than that,” and it’s quite a significant shift and I’m paraphrasing. That’s more interesting.
[00:32:57.13] Dave: Yeah, one of my favourite examples of that, it’s nothing to do with the principles, but it’s this guy, the Body Coach, so I’ve been training him on Instagram for quite a long time now. Just because I read about it in a Saturday newspaper, like a year and a half ago, and he’s now on TV regularly, got a book out and whatever, and it’s just that, he’s hit a nail so beautifully on the head because he’s really understood what people want and presents a very practical, credible solution for that. And he’s gone from being a personal trainer running bootcamps in a park, to an online fitness guru, with turnover well in excess of £2 million in 18 months, it’s not bad? But again, if you look at the pieces of the jigsaw, they’re the same, they might be in a different context or whatever, and I think in a sense you’ve done yourself a bit of a disservice, I hear people say this, and I know what you mean that “it’s not about me thing…” no it is. It really is, because you’re starting to, this is what I see with people who are doing good, is you’re embodying what you’re talking about, now some people call that grounding, understanding, whatever, but you’re starting to actually be the thing that you’re describing for others, and that’s contagious, it really is. And so I think it’s easy to, because we can turn this sort of altruistic, oh, it’s all about the client, I’ve watched some people do that, oh it’s all about them, and it’s actually all about the person being all about someone else, so it’s even worse, it’s like a worse ego trip, and I’ve done that, and actually I can think of a recording I did, which was so that as to be untrue, it doesn’t look like that at the time, and it’s all good, we’re all evolving, it’s cool. But when that starts to fall off, I think you really do start to see, perhaps from a different perspective, it is about you, it is about how you show up. Those things like timing and professionalism are endemic or having less on your mind in my experience, they look like strategies, they’re just like you’re less up your arse about stuff. It occurs to you it’s a good idea to be punctual with people, it occurs to you it’s a good idea to find out what they really really want, because you’re right, transactional happiness is about £2.80, it’s the price of a latte in Costa or Starbucks. You’re going to have to sell a lot of coffee to make a good coaching practice. So, yeah, I like that. And even like you were saying about the podcast, may not have brought you a client, well, I don’t know about that, I think the fact that you committed to doing it, that you keep doing it, that you’re interviewing people of quality, so you’re learning, I think those things are part of what builds a credible coach, again they’re endemic, of, they’re not tactics, they’re endemic of a growing appreciation of something, and that strikes me as being quite a healthy place to come from, so no surprise you’re looking at health, that looks like one of the natural things that happens when our head clears. It’s like I should probably put better stuff inside me, that might be a good idea, have more energy, feel more at ease with whatever’s going on, and that links back beautifully to what you were saying earlier on about, that’s easy to think we understand the principles, when things are going well. Because, doesn’t it look like, when things are going well, that that feeling is coming from somewhere rather than the principle of thought? Doesn’t it look like that? Doesn’t it look like a full practice or a car or a beautiful girl or something, you know? It never comes from anywhere different, ever. Everything we’re experiencing in thought is what we feel, all of it, no bits left out. So what’s next, what’s showing up for you fresh in 2016?
[00:38:20.23] Ankush: Well I think you touched on it there, which was health, so I think that’s got a big focus for me this year, practically I’m getting married, so that’s going to take up a lot of time for me this year.
[00:38:35.02] Dave: Congratulations for that, I won’t make all the married bloke jokes…
[00:38:40.17] Ankush: I’m sure you’ll just email me them later, and so, it’s just life, and that’s the other thing I want to point to like, having a full practice, I don’t want to add to any misunderstanding, this is not a place to get to, like then I’ve made it, nothing’s changed, I’m carrying on doing exactly the same thing, and at the risk of putting out stuff that I want to put out later too early, I want to do a few videos around what do you do once your practice is full? So I’ve got some ideas around that, but, in essence it’s basically the same thing, nothing really changes, like I said, I’m not perfect, there’s a load more learning I have to do as a coach, there’s a load of things I can get better at incrementally, and that’s what I’m doing, it’s the same with my health, I feel, even though I’m a little bit congested, I feel great this year, by just putting better food in my mouth and doing a bit more exercise, and I really want to grow this community as one of the things I’m doing, there’s other things as well, but I really want to grow through this community, really from a place of, I feel that this is my contribution to the principles, that, we’ve got certain things that we’re good at, and for me, I really want to help anyone that wants to share this understanding, to show them that there’s a way of doing it without going down the six steps to creating a six figure practice. And I see that a lot, and I see it from people who say, “yeah, yeah, yeah, we know it doesn’t work that way,” and then sign up to that stuff, and I’m not saying it’s all crap, I haven’t, I guess full disclosure, I’ve not done it, what I’ve found is that coaches that I know personally, who are doing that sort of thing, don’t seem to be making or having a full practice or successful practice or having lots of clients, they seem to be spending a lot of time doing other stuff, and people who are doing relatively better, don’t seem to be spending a lot of time on that internet marketing type of thing, or strategies or whatever else, I wanted to show, and I’m glad I can do it now, because I felt like a year ago, I was a bit of a lone voice going, “guys there’s a different way, you can do it like this.” And maybe this is the way it was supposed to be, that now I’ve got to prove it myself by walking the talk and what’s really wonderful is, when I talk to other coaches who are in this group, both coaches who are clients of mine and even coaches who are not clients of mine, who are talking some of the conversation we’ve had here and I get messages from some of them saying, “I’ve signed up my first client in ages, or I’ve signed up my very first client, or I’ve done this, or I’ve done that… or I’m struggling with this, can you give us an answer to that,” and I’ll create a video and they’ll go, “great that’s exactly what I needed.” Because for me even if noone in this group ever hires me, if this doesn’t pay me any money, I don’t care, because it’s the principles getting out there and if the principles gets out there in a better way, forget anything else, forget business, how wonderful is that for humanity? Like how awesome a place would that be to live in? And then taking it a level down to the business side, you know what, it’s just a very positive thing for every three principles coach, that other three principles coaches do well and are successful, because it adds credibility to all of us. There is no competition in that way, even though it might look like that, like, oh, I want to do this and that guy’s doing it, or that lady’s doing it, but it’s all, there’s just so much opportunity for us all, right? There’s just so much, I mean you’re an example of that, you brought me in last year to assist you in some training you were doing, there’s just so much more opportunity for that.
[00:43:22.06] Dave: And it’s interesting, because we haven’t had a chance to catch up for a while, but just as an anecdote for people listening out of that, and then continuing with, if you like, what I was doing, the strategy or that’s what it would look like from the outside. I’m writing a document that’s going to go to 75 educational advisors to present to their head teachers about coaching. So, from acorns, who knows? And it was from exactly the thing that we delivered, and the impact that that has had, is still having and work going forward, so thank you, there will be other chances to do stuff.
[00:44:11.07] Ankush: And I think look, again, very practically speaking, let’s say out of this whole group, Dave Kibby does really well, right?
[00:44:19.29] Dave: I like that idea.
[00:44:20.17] Ankush: And Dave Kibby turns into the big thing, right? That’s actually a really good thing for every single coach in this group, it’s a really good thing for me, it’s a good thing for everyone else because as you grow, and opportunities come along, you wouldn’t be able to handle all the opportunities. And either you’ll be giving referrals to other coaches or you’ll say, okay, I need to deliver this training can you help me, like we did. And those are just a couple of things I’m thinking of, there’s just so many more opportunities, and let’s say, you become really big or whatever, well guess what, who’re you going to bring to interview, who are you going to have as your four leaders, are you going to have as your colleagues, it all is just very very helpful to all of us, and that’s why I really genuinely from my heart want to see people in this group do really really well, because…
[00:45:15.06] Dave: Yeah and I think there is one thing I want to echo back what you said about it being about any one of us, and I’d be lying if I didn’t think that some of the things that could come off, they’re not currently, but they could, wouldn’t be an awful lot of fun, and provide a lot of sharing and a lot of work for people, it would, you’re right, if a couple of things I’m working on, because I like working on big meaty stuff, and there’s no way I could deliver it, nor would I want to, that’s not part of my personal plan, but again I want to come back to the fact that, when you came in, and we did that training, what Spring/Summer last year, I think it was, something like that, it was because, that client I’d worked work pro-bono for 18 months before they started paying me, and they weren’t paying me a whole load, they didn’t pay us a whole load for the training we were doing, so it’s just the breadcrumb trail, it is, you just keep seeing an opportunity to share, so get interest, to gain experience, to gain gravitas, and you just keep going and keep going and keep going and sometimes you have gifted opportunities where somebody who’s got a bigger network happens to be there, and that’s how this one came about, an advisor was in a room when I was coaching, that’s all it came from, there’s no witchcraft, you know, about any of this stuff, it’s just doing it over and over and over again.
[00:46:57.07] Ankush: Well I want to pick up on that as well and I think, we’re talking about filling your practice today or thoughts around that, and it would be remiss of me to not mention this next thing, which is, and I know people disagree with me, and I respect that, but I strongly believe, and it’s worked for me, is, take an incremental approach to building your practice, anyone listening to this, take an incremental approach, if you’re charging thousands of pounds per client, and you have room for ten clients, but you only have one client, you’re not, you’re hampering yourself, and one of the biggest things that I learned from Steve, which was really really helpful to me, was fill my practice, fill my practice, if I’ve got space, fill it, if there’s someone that wants to work with me, fill it, whatever that takes, right, and I’m not saying discount your fees, all the time, maybe you never need to do it, but, maybe you do, maybe it makes sense, and I have that and I’ve been creative around, maybe there are certain things I can do to get to a fee, so maybe people have less sessions or you structure it in a different way, maybe the sessions are shorter, but really, do that first, because people get hung up on, they get a first client and they go well, I charge £75 for this client, but they’ve only got one, and then they get another one, now I’m going to charge you £100, and then they keep increasing their fee, but they’ve still got a tiny practice. And actually they’re probably, and I saw this, there were people in hindsight, hindsight’s a wonderful thing, that would’ve worked with me, if I made it easier for them to work with me, and I know clients that I’ve had who are coaches, this is one of the biggest things new coaches, especially that I work with them on, and it’s amazing sometimes how a small shift in just being flexible around fees or how you work, can make it possible for someone to work with you, especially at the beginning, and it helps you fill your practice, you learn so much from a paying client, and you learn so much from having a number of paying clients.
[00:49:11.13] Dave: Yeah, I agree, I so agree with that, and I’ve paid the price for that as well, of hanging my fees on the illusionary reputation that I think I had, because of something I think I did once some years ago, it’s crazy, and I think most people do it in some form, it’s a question of how quickly do you fall out of it actually, all the stuff we’re talking about today, I’m sure you could stick Steve on the other Steve, and they’d all say yeah I’ve done that, maybe Steve H less actually, but, I think any of us who are growing in anything, in the same way that footballers training would speak to people at the top of their game and go, oh yeah I made that mistake, it’s all normal, and I think that’s the thing I liked about your post and the energy I felt behind your post, which was why I wanted to do this, this was genuinely, look guys, I don’t have a Superman t-shirt underneath here, I’ve had great insights, but I haven’t had the moment where my entire head cleared and stayed that way, but incrementally, day after day, I’ve tried to do stuff and I haven’t even done that always, and we’re not trying to make anything sound, it needs to sound as ordinary as it is, because that way people can just see they’re learning at their own pace in their own way, and you’re right, make it easy for people to hire you, make it as easy as it is for them to hire you, fit with their budget, meet with their needs, deliver the stuff to the best that you can do it on that day, just do the straightforward things of business, to the best of your ability and spend time learning, commitment to that is so important.
[00:51:02.09] Ankush: I have a strong belief that most coaches, I’d say virtually everyone I’ve spoken to they know what to do, and this includes me, and if their practice isn’t growing, it’s because they’re doing the thing that looks less uncomfortable. So I don’t want to make out like there isn’t that piece to it as well, I’ve done things, when I did my podcast, I was not using a naughty word, I was pooping my pants, I was really nervous about putting myself out there, what are people going to think, at the time. A lot of my family would be like, “what do you know about relationships, you’re not married, you should be married right now.” And so it was a little bit scary, when I did my public talk with Gabriela Maldonado last year, that felt a bit scary for me, I felt a bit nervous on the day, I have that a lot and again it comes back down like you said early on, to grounding, but in a really practical sense, we know what is a good thing to do next, don’t buy into the fact that I need to feel comfortable about something before I do it, do it anyway, you know what it is, I know certain things that I need to do next that look scary, I have it all the time, and it’s just about doing those things, that’s going to be the big difference I think for people. Shall we call it a day?
[00:52:42.13] Dave: It feels like a nice landing place, yeah it does.
[00:52:49.20] Ankush: Well thank you for interviewing me Dave.
[00:52:54.09] Dave: You’re welcome, thank you for sharing so openly, let’s hope people get what they need to get.
[00:53:02.03] Ankush: Yeah and if not send the abuse to Dave, it’s all his fault.
[00:53:07.16] Dave: Definitely I agree with that.
[00:53:07.24] Ankush: Alright, well thanks Dave and hope everyone enjoyed this, send us your feedback, write your comments below and all the rest of the good stuff. Alright, cheers.