There’s a bizarre phenomenon that seems to be unique to the coaching profession. I’ve looked and looked, but I can’t see it replicated anywhere else. The phenomenon is this: coaching shouldn’t be about the money.

Should Coaching Be About The Money?!

There is a feeling that coaching somehow transcends the boundaries of other professional services. That coaching is special, more righteous than any other service.

There’s a belief in some quarters that coaching is almost a spiritual thing.

Some believe that ‘pure’ coaching should be unsullied by money, that the act of coaching should be about giving back and that giving back should be enough for anyone.

I’m really struggling to articulate what I’m trying to say because the thing I’m trying to describe is rarely articulated by others. It’s more of an implication – a fleeting expression of disdain, a visceral reaction to the idea of promoting coaching services, the idea that if your coaching is good enough your clients will find you.

There’s a belief that coaches will put enormous amounts of passion, integrity, and authenticity into what they do and that they should prioritise their client’s progress above their own financial gain.

Coaches Deserve To Be Paid

Why shouldn’t coaching be about the money? Why shouldn’t coaches be paid a professional rate? We worked hard and spent a lot of money to get our qualification(s), so why shouldn’t we be able to charge for our services?

I firmly believe that coaching shouldn’t be all about the money. If you’re doing something solely for the money it will get you down eventually.

However, we offer a professional service and we should be paid accordingly and there’s nothing wrong with that.

A coach I know personally paid $30k to a very well-known coach/author to take part in his mentoring/business building group programme (yes, you heard me right – a group programme for that price!). After 6 sessions, this coach asked when they were going to get to the part about how to make this financially viable and the well-known coach curled his lip and said ‘don’t make it about the money, it will be written all over your face if you do, and people will think you’re desperate’.

I think this response is extraordinary. Why would a coach join a business-building programme if not to build her business? Let’s face it, if you don’t have clients, you don’t have a business at all. Businesses have paying clients – that’s what makes them businesses! (And this chap charges $30k – who is he to say don’t make it about the money?!)

Flip The Perspective

If we look at this situation from a different perspective – that of the consumer – we wouldn’t expect to receive a service and not pay for it. We’re quite comfortable paying a professional rate for a professional service – so why is being on the purveyor of the service side so different? We wouldn’t say to an architect ‘don’t make it about the money’ so why do we think it about ourselves?

I’m not offering answers to this enigma, I’m looking for your opinion. What is it about the coaching profession that gives us these curious beliefs about coaching?