The pregnant pause | Why I stopped calling myself a Life Coach

The phone rings… Hello, Maximum Change… how may I help you?

Caller: Yes, I am looking for a life coach to help me get my life back in balance and I also have this new business idea I want to explore and need help developing the concept.

Maximum Change: Great, what kind of budget do you have for this kind of process?

Caller: Well, I can afford $35 an hour!

Maximum Change: Well, $35 will buy you about 15 minutes of our time…

Caller: …. Pause… silence… stutter and stammer… “oh”

This is pretty much how a number of the calls we field sound like.

As a result of completing my Master’s degree in 2005, I launched Maximum Change Coaching. From the beginning I’ve had a passion to help others grow and achieve more than they thought possible. In the early days I was hungry and eager to grow my practice and the number of hours administered, which meant I took just about any business that came my way. What I learned is that the more you discount your services, the more you sell yourself short (devalue your knowledge) and the more you attract the wrong kind of clients. I have long since determined that if someone is looking for a discount, they are not the ideal client for me. The problem as I see it is that there are so many people entering the field of coaching and there are nearly as many definitions of what a coach is that there is great confusion in the marketplace. The term “Life Coach” has become synonymous with some kind of ubiquitous idea of someone telling you what to do. Beyond the confusion of defining a life coach, there is a bigger issue of what a life coach is worth.

The bottom line: When I need help with an issue, I seek out an expert in that area. I realize that the expertise will cost me something. The more specialized the need, the more I will pay. This is why a heart surgeon gets paid so much! I am an expert in my field. I am not an expert just because I say so, I am one because I have over 20 years of experience in business. I’ve also owned two successful businesses; I am a lecturer and adjunct professor. I hold a Master’s Degree and in one short year I will be knocking on the door of a doctorate. I travel and speak in the areas of my expertise and organizations and individuals alike pay me for my expertise. I don’t apologize for what I charge; I’ve earned the right to do so.

So, there you have it… I am no longer a Life Coach. I am a thought leader! I am an expert in Leadership and Business. I work hard every day to help my clients grow, think deeper and achieve more! This is what I do! I help people achieve Maximum Change and I charge accordingly for the expertise I am going to pour into you!  What I offer is an opportunity for an individual or organization to invest in their future; to invest in their growth and to define and secure the opportunities for success.

Word to the wise, the next time you call an expert to help you achieve a goal or desire, keep in mind you are investing in your future and you are more than likely engaging in the services of someone who has spent years cultivating that expertise.


Philip A Foster, MA is Founder/President of Maximum Change Inc. Elevating leaders and their organizations to the next level since 2005. Master Certified Coach, Philip A Foster, MA and his associates facilitate effective positive change by helping organizations, leaders and individuals in high demand — design and implement strategies that maximize focus and deliver results. Specializing in Organization and Strategic Leadership.

Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Skype: philip.a.foster | 615-216-5667


One thought on “The pregnant pause | Why I stopped calling myself a Life Coach

  1. I’d rather pay your fee for an hour of your expertise – than $35 per hour to someone else for 10 hours for the same service, yet get less results. This is why I do not treat clients with a 3 for $99 deal for laser hair removal. When those deals end, and clients still have hair left – they then pay me to permanently remove the hair that is by that time – harder to treat.

    In addition, I have had a “feel good” policy for years. Does it ever feel good for a professional who has spent years learning, training, and cultivating their field of expertise to not be valued? The reverse of this – when you collect what you charge, you have the freedom to provide a free service for someone who truly needs it. This feels great, and often – these clients turn into your best referral resources.

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