There’s a very odd thing about our profession.

I’ve encountered it from various coach training organisations and some of our professional bodies.

The odd thing is this: the idea that promoting one’s services is distasteful.

I don’t get it. What’s distasteful about the ethical, authentic promotion of a product or service? Particularly when the product or service is excellent and we would benefit from being offered the opportunity to make a decision for ourselves.

Let me give you an example. There are many face-to-face meetings of coaches all over the country. They meet to discuss coaching techniques, relevant books and tools and to network. Sometimes, these meetings will have a guest speaker. That guest speaker might be—for example—the author of a coaching book. (I’m not talking about me here. My book is most definitely not a coaching book.)

Here comes the odd part.

The rules of some of these groups say that a) speakers cannot be paid and b) they must not promote a product or service. When I say must not promote I mean, mustn’t mention it at all! So the author of the book can talk about their book, but they’re not allowed to say, ‘You can buy it on Amazon’. Weird!

Here’s the thing…

If you want a speaker, you either a) pay them or b) allow them to mention their product or service in lieu of payment. That’s how commerce works. Otherwise, what’s in it for the speaker?


Here’s the next thing—Sainsbury’s doesn’t accept exposure, nor does your mortgage company or, indeed, any of the utility companies. In fact, exposure isn’t worth anywhere near as much as the person or organisation offering it believes it to be.

I find the ‘filthy lucre’ philosophy utterly perplexing. What’s more, no other profession does it.

Can you imagine a lawyer agreeing to come and speak for exposure?

Or a senior medic?

The really weird part of this is that these same organisations talk about 6-figure salaries and 5-figure fees.

So what’s going on here? Why are we, as a profession, allowed to discuss salaries and fees, but we mustn’t have our gatherings sullied by having an opportunity to buy something that we think is valuable?

Why do our professional bodies and training organisations protect us from commerce so fiercely, even when we could benefit from what is being offered?

And, why are we not able to make that decision for ourselves?

Explain It To Me

I’d love it if someone could explain this allergy to normal commercial transactions that our profession has.

Would you like some help with this? This link is for our diary to book a call.