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7 Powerful Coaching Tips From Seth Godin That Every Coach Should Take To Heart When Running Their Practice

by | In the Magazine, Karl Bryan

As arguably one of the brightest business minds of our time, Seth Godin continues to be an inspirational leader and his daily blog is a MUST read.

Frankly, he and his blog were the inspiration behind my daily ONE THING emails. .

Seth is not only an accomplished author with 19 books (such as Purple Cow, Tribes, All Marketers Are Liars, and much more) under his belt, he’s also been inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame and he continues to be one of the most influential thinkers of our time                              

Seth Godin just flat out knows marketing and we’d all be wise to follow his teachings when it comes to running our own businesses and coaching practices.

To that end, here are 7 powerful coaching tips from Seth Godin and what we can learn from them, not just for ourselves as business coaches, but for our clients as well:                                                                                                                                 

1. “Everyone is not your customer.”

One of the most important decisions business coaches face is figuring out what businesses to contact/connect/serve. .

In fact, most business coaches struggle to narrow it down and end up trying to help every business.

  • Big
  • Small
  • Retailer
  • Wholesaler
  • Manufacturing
  • IT
  • Male owner
  • Female owner
  • Start up
  • Exiting business owner
  • Thriving businesses
  • Struggling businesses
  • And the list goes on….


While this comes from a good-hearted place of wanting to help everybody, it’s actually a troublesome place to start because it’s hard to pull off successfully.

Do you think it’s easier to help 20 different businesses in 20 different industries… or 20 different businesses, but all in the same industry?

The fact is, when you can pick a category to serve and go deep.

Lets use hospitality as an example.

You’ll quickly learn exactly how that category works, discover best practices that work in the across the various different sub-categories.

You can quickly become a trusted expert in that industry.

On the other hand, when you try to help everyone, you quickly find yourself spread thin and struggling to help your new coaching clients grow.

So don’t try to be all things to all people.

Every customer is NOT your customer.                                                                                                                                                                               

2. “Be genuine. Be remarkable. Be worth connecting with.”

This demonstrates one of the quickest ways to stand out in any pursuit, whether business or personal.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       If you want to be a successful business coach and earn multiple six figures, then you need to be different than any other so-called business coach that’s out there trying to get clients.

While just about every other coach is out there trying to sell their services in every interaction…

…instead consider being the only one that wants to give first, willing to jump in and help solve some problems without expectation of return.

Look to be of genuine help, and you’ll quickly find yourself inundated with more business than you can handle.

The rule of reciprocity is a powerful lone.

Become known as a connector and helper first, and watch how quickly business gets referred in return.

3. “Hard work is about risk.

It begins when you deal with the things that you’d rather not deal with: fear of failure, fear of standing out, fear of rejection.

Hard work is about training yourself to leap over this barrier, drive through the other barrier. And after you’ve done that, to do it again the next day.”

One of the struggles many business coaches face is how to get started and how to get new clients in the door. And one of the biggest sources of that struggle is the being too scared or nervous to initiate conversations with the businesses you want to serve.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Part of that nervousness is due to not believing in yourself enough or not truly believing that what you have to offer is valuable enough, and that you might just be bothering these businesses.

If you really know you can help businesses, then you need to find a way to get past your fear, and put yourself out there, willing to take those risks.

By taking the risks, taking on those hurdles, and facing your fears, you’ll quickly see how you’ll not only grow as a person, but you’ll really be growing as a business coach, and truly helping to transform those businesses you started your coaching practice for in the first place.

When you get out of your own way… you’ll be amazed how quickly it all comes together.

4. “Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress.”

Piggy-backing on the previous point, too many people wait until they think they know everything they need to know before that first step, and many new business coaches are guilty of this.

As a result, they get stuck in analysis paralysis and never hit multiple six figures.                                                                                                             

Instead, one of the best ways to get going… is to get one foot in front of the other.

Be willing to make mistakes and learn from them which is the best education and best teacher you’ll ever have.

No matter how much you  think you can learn from a book or training, nothing will ever replace learning through actual activity.

So get out, get started and you’ll quickly find yourself doing better than 90% of the other business coaches too afraid to make any mistakes and hiding behind their computer.

5. “People do not buy goods and services.

They buy relations, stories and magic”

People really want to do business with those companies that they know, like and trust.

And yes, while there are businesses that will select a business coach because they need help, most really want to work with coaches that they like and trust implicitly. That comes from developing an actual relationship with your clients.

In fact, the best business coaches make themselves indispensable to the clients they work with and are seen as a part of their family because of the trust they create and the noticeable results they get for them.

In a similar way, when you look at the businesses you choose to work with, you’re probably looking for the same qualities in them.

While you look at the goods and services they sell to make sure they’re quality and want to partner with them.

You’re also hopefully looking at their relationships, their company story and those intangible magical qualities that you can draw out as you work to promote and grow them.

6. “The reason it seems that price is all your customers care about is that you haven’t given them anything else to care about.”

If you reviewed some of the biggest or most important purchases that you’ve made, how many were based solely on price?

I didn’t think so,.

If you’ve ever purchased a home, price is a factor… but it’s rarely the determining factor.

Dozens of factors go into your decision,:

Does it look cool?

Have a man cave or a floating deck with fire pit?

Can you “picture yourself” in it?

Did the house have all the amenities?

A nice neighborhood?

A good school close by?

Close to family and friends?

Park near by for the dog?

What other factors do they consider outside of just your price?

Do they like you?

Do they appreciate your complimentary skill set?

Were you referred from a colleague?

How will your recommendations be received?

Do your give them confidence? ?

Will their employees see you as a partner?

And too many more to mention.

There are so many other factors other than price that your potential clients will be considering, so you need to help them see you as a true partner.

If you can do that, you’ll never compete on price again.

7. “You can’t shrink your way to greatness!”

To get big results for you clients, you have to be confident that what you offer can make a huge impact on their business and you have to be willing to put yourself out there.

Get in front of them and make them believe.

That means picking up the phone and making the call that nerves you…

…or walking into that business and talking to the owner…

…or reaching out to your network and asking them for introductions to the businesses you know you can help.

Bottom line, you need to be willing to do the things that scare most coaches off from growing their own business coaching practice because they shrink instead of grow.

No short jokes here!!

Step into your greatness that you were meant for.

You have a skill set and passion that can truly transform the lives and business of those you’ve chosen to serve.

You didn’t get here by accident.

At the end of the day, this advice means nothing if you do nothing or learn nothing from them.

On the other hand, if you truly believe that your skills as a business coach truly can change any business for the better…

…then you’ll take Seth Godin’s advice to heart  and be willing to put yourself out there, take risks, and truly improve the lives and businesses of those clients you started your coaching practice to positively impact.

Now go make a difference.

You matter.

It matters.

Thanks for tuning in,

Karl Bryan

Karl Bryan, creator of Profit Acceleration Software™  

Karl is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Six-Figure Coach Magazine and Chairman of, home of the largest private community of Business Coaches (24 countries and counting) in the world. His goal is straightforward… to help serious coaches/consultants get more clients. Find out more at

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