31 Dec 2018 | Coaching

Duck Billed Platitudes

For my sins I was scanning my Facebook page and was found by a video of an Australian male offering unique advice on how to expand ones consultancy and coaching business. Like any sucker that momentarily forgets that an advertiser is only promoting for his own benefit, I watched 2 minutes of his pitch. Idiot me. This now means that Facebook have told this person I am interested and now I’m sure to get all sorts of unsolicited messages.


The video was captivating to start but as soon as I heard him saying that people like me adopt a marketing plan based on hope rather than strategy I realised that this youthful wide boy was making wild assumptions as well as being patronising and incorrect. His one astute comment; that freelancers are deeply interested in doing what they do was nullified by the claim that freelancers do not want to invest in building their passion into a proper business because they just want to do their work. His whippersnapper error was thinking that we come at it without experience or market knowledge. I turned off realising that nothing is new.

Over the last year I have faced several challenges in business but have come through them. My colleagues and I have achieved this by being dogged, persistent, flexible and above all, client centred. We have also reminded ourselves that rules are there to be adhered to only as far as the letter is concerned and that their spirit is not so important. Like the Video Boy above who pretends he is in it to help others, rules are only really there to benefit the rule makers. We cannot break rules, especially moral ones and those that are bound by law, but with experience we can learn to manipulate them. Having just Googled ‘How to get more coaching and consultancy clients’ I have found several organisations that offer the same as Video Boy and at a glance (I refused the cookie assault option) most appear to be fronted by young sales people of the same ilk that used to sell double glazing, used cars and Encyclopaedias. Not only is nothing new, but it is clear that selling services and products is still being done in the same old pushy style as ever before. Tap into peoples’ frailties and convince them that as it was you that guessed their weaknesses, you can fix them.

Some years ago I asked a psychologist friend what she thought of Neuro Linguistic Programming (a.k.a. NLP) and she replied ‘same old wine, new bottles.’ Nowadays you’re more likely to hear people discussing CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and believe me, it is once again that same soured vinegar but now it’s in biodegradable bottles.

Last night we dined in a very pleasant Indian restaurant in a London suburb that served delicious subcontinental dishes in small portions and labelled them ‘tapas’.  It reminded me of Cuisine Nouvelle from the 1980’s and more recently, Balti style Indian food which still exists but has, I am reliably informed, retreated to Birmingham.

My point dear reader is that as we creep over the calendar border into a new Anno Domini, you should eschew resolutions and avoid pressurising yourself just because other people are telling you to. By all means pick a new name for what you are selling and begin a new health regime but do it when it suits you, not when the media and pushy sales people from Slimming World or WW decide you should.

Change and improvement is always possible and even when it seems improbable, it is worth trying but to give yourself the best chance; do it when you want to.

Remember; a carrot is worth more than a stick because it helps you see in the dark.



This is not the video I saw, but it is similar: https://milliondollarcoach.com/events-aus/

image; https://medium.com/@Bravado/on-closing-week-quotas-and-pushy-salespeople-8204164b3ee

image: http://www.mcpheeandrewartha.com.au/motivating-employees-carrot-stick/