3 Scandalous Ways Smart Coaches and Consultants Sabotage Business Success

Consulant sabotaging her business with a hammer

We adore coaches and consultants of every kind here at Alchemy!

You all make a massive impact in the world, and we take our hats off to you! But even though coaching and consulting are incredibly rewarding, it’s not easy. You must constantly switch between roles as you fulfill the daily responsibilities on which your business success depends and the marketing and admin that any business requires. Without careful allocation and defined task management, it is amazingly easy for certain patterns to form within your operation that can damage your business in the long term.

A large percentage of our clients are coaches or consultants. Over the years, I’ve consistently seen these compassionate people self-sabotage themselves and their business in senseless ways. It’s heartbreaking! Many of the ways I see smart coaches and consultants sabotage their business goals come from mindset issues that result in the creation of bad business habits that kill their chances of business success.

Therefore, I humbly, and without any judgment (I’ve done this sh*t too!), want to offer you, dear souls, a way to take a close look at how you may be self-sabotaging your businesses. After reading this, you’ll be able to make the changes necessary to start crushing your income goals while creating an even more significant impact in the world.

Begging is Hard Work

One of the biggest self-sabotage tactics I see smart coaches and consultants use is to try and convince potential clients to work with them. Deep down, there is a belief that to get clients, they have to work hard because they question their own worth. This shows up as spending unbelievable amounts of time marketing in places where their ideal client wouldn’t show up in a million years. Or rebranding their website again to ensure it’s attracting the right clientele. It keeps them busy, so they feel like they are working, but the only result is more frustration and overwhelm.

When you realize you don’t have to convince people they need you and focus on connecting deeply with people who already value what you do, you’ll attract your ideal clients, experience more fulfillment, and see more zeros on your bank balance.

If you are a coach or consultant who finds themselves desperately seeking clients—any clients—take a close look at your beliefs around finding customers.

What do you believe about yourself and your role as a coach? Do you value yourself and what you offer to the world? Once you change your thinking around that (and the fact that being a business owner means you have to work hard), consider the ways you are keeping yourself ineffectually busy. There are people out there who need you!

Dazzle with Customization

I often see otherwise savvy coaches and consultants self-sabotage their business success by having a totally customizable approach to their offerings. This comes from a misguided belief that to get clients, you have to recreate the wheel every time based on what they think they want. Like filling out a dating profile, clients want to know what you’re about without all the razzle-dazzles. Without offering clear-cut packages and service types, it becomes nearly impossible to maintain the long-term client relationships required to sustain your business.

Attracting new customers also turns into a nightmare, as no one can get an idea of what to expect from working with you. Each service or program you offer needs to be clearly laid out with a timeline and pricing structure. This satisfies your client’s expectations for the initial phase of working together. Productizing your services also means less work and more business success for you.

Underpricing Your Value

 You are worth every penny of your expertise. That’s why this is possibly the most crucial—how much you charge and how your payment plans are structured. I see intelligent coaches and mentors take risks with their business all the freakin’ time. They do this by keeping their prices ridiculously low or trading their services for things they might not even need.

Again, these situations are typically based on a misguided belief that you aren’t good enough to charge the going rate. Have you found yourself saying things like:

  • I don’t have enough experience to charge what I’d like.
  • There are already so many other coaches in my industry out there, I need to price my services low to get clients.
  • I’m not a great coach yet, so I’d better get more practice in by doing a bunch of coaching for free.
  • I don’t really need a new logo/brand redesign/hand-painted toilet seat, but I can’t turn this person away. They really need help.
  • Pricing your services so high that only the wealthy can afford them is morally wrong. I got into this business to help people, even if it keeps me poor.

If so, you may be telling yourself that you want to ensure everyone can afford your prices. While admirable, there’s always a limiting belief underneath this idea. It’s often something around not being worthy or that money is evil and makes people greedy. *not true*

Entering the marketplace with too low rates instantly devalues your brand, and you won’t inspire confidence from clients this way either. Rather than hourly rates, use specific pricing per package or program offered and make this payable in monthly installments.

Charging for the impact you make in your clients’ lives ensures value is placed on your service instead of being compared in your client’s mind to what a locksmith or dentist charges per hour. Having faith in your own experience and abilities and a pricing system that reflects this will protect you from those trying to undercut you or looking for freebies. As a mentor or coach, you ARE your business success, and your values and integrity determine this, so be proud and grateful for this.

And don’t forget the mindset piece! Grab your journal and ask yourself the following questions related to your pricing and you may just uncover some reasons that have been holding your business back (and let’s get really real).

  • When did you last assess the market value of your services and raise your prices? It should be done annually.
  • When considering increasing your rates, what factors did you consider, and how did you feel? Dig deep here to find any limiting beliefs keeping you from charging what you are worth!
  • Which are the factors preventing you from raising your pricing? Be completely honest, so you can discern whether these are facts or self-doubts.
  • Is your pricing genuinely reflective of the value you put on your own time, or is this being affected by others’ views? This is a crucial one, so expand as much as you need to.

Once you’ve uncovered any unhealthy beliefs that keep you in sabotage mode and you’re ready to make a change, implement a few of the following practices to show the world (and yourself) that you value yourself. We hope to share these to help alleviate some of the stress involved with developing your own value system and pricing structure so that you can grow your business success.

  • Increase your pricing by 25%. If this seems extreme, start at 10% and gradually increase every few clients.
  • Don’t ever apologize or explain your reasons for increasing pricing. It just IS.
  • Build a price increase clause into your long-term contracts, allowing reassessment every 6 months. Actually increase your prices when contracts are renewed.
  • Keep adding value to your packages and programs with items that minimize your cost and time investment but increase the value for the client. For instance, digital copies of your goal-setting methods, a video course specific to the problem areas of coaching or give clients limitless access to you on Voxer.
  • Determine your comfortable living costs and set your pricing accordingly. You deserve to live the life you want!
  • Assess, manage and balance your time to ensure you are consistently setting and achieving targets. It may help a great deal to seek objective financial advice for this. *hello, that’s us, love you*
  • Once you are fully booked, begin offering group programs and packages. This is more time-efficient for you and will allow you to provide a more affordable option for clients on a budget.
  • When you market, focus on the results by using testimonials from clients with tangible success stories.
  • Don’t offer tailor-made solutions or programs per client, as this is far more time-consuming to formulate.
  • Expand your packages offers into a tiered system, where graduates can advance into more complex coaching solutions.
  • Use incentives, and only in necessary cases such as a limited-time offer to fill final spots on a group program, but never offer “discounts.”

It’s simple to change your thinking around self-sabotaging habits, but it’s not easy. Don’t expect the change to be “a one and done.” You’ll need to be vigilant at noticing your own thoughts so you can “catch yourself” living in the land of thoughts past. When you do notice, don’t bash yourself over the head! It’s going to take a while to change your beliefs. After all, you’ve had them for years! Be curious when those old thoughts arise. What triggered them? Then gently bring your mind back to the new reality you’ve chosen for yourself. You are good enough. You and what you do in the world are valuable.

Owning and running your own business is daunting. It can be difficult and emotional, like a full moon in Pisces. As much as you want to, don’t let yourself get in your own way. Although the practice of unknowingly sabotaging your own business success is common to coaching and mentorship-based enterprises, it is certainly not a unique behavior cycle. It occurs in all manner of different businesses, from small owner-run enterprises to large corporations.

Any major business decision or strategy based on misinformation and irrelevant data, or even worse, no information at all, will have serious financial consequences that hinder your business success. Don’t let that happen! The world needs you!

When you do reach a stuck point or are simply looking to reevaluate your business, remember that you can seek the advice of outside financial services providers like *drum roll* Alchemy Accounting. In a field where you are working predominantly alone, an objective place to voice your concerns or simply delegate some tedious admin work can make a world of difference. Good luck to you, brothers and sisters! *hugs and kisses*



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Michelle Cooper

Michelle Cooper is a powerhouse entrepreneur, CEO of Alchemy Accounting & Bookkeeping, author of Confessions of a Money Rock Star, Your MoneyDate Journal, and co-author of the collaborative book, Women Rising. She has helped many business owners climb out of entrepreneurial poverty into the land of profit.