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The Secret to a Thriving Practice

By David Wood

Are you busy building a web site?

Would you say brochures are the answer? Business cards? Advertising?

Many coaches you try this route in the beginning, only grow their practice very, very slowly. They do what all the marketing books say. But why isn't their business booming?

I'm going to give you the answer right here in this article.

The Vicious Cycle

99% of coaches lack confidence. And rightly so! It can be very daunting to put on the hat of 'coach' and offer to change people's lives.

Building a web site or designing a brochure are great down the track. But while you're still scared to coach - you'll subconsciously find a way of turning away clients.

Here's the vicious cycle: Having little or no clients which means no exp'erience, which leads to a reluctance to extend the invitation for trial sessions, which leads to no clients, which leads to no exp'erience, and so on.

The Secret

The answer is quite simple - forget the money, forget your pride, and get your experience up - no matter what it takes. And the fastest way to do that? "Coach 50 Clients!".

Free, paid, 1 session, 1 week, 3 months - I don't care. Just get those initial sessions.

As I explain in depth in my speech, choose your target list of likely prospects, craft an invitation that feels comfortable you, and do your initial, exploratory sessions - yes, with 50 people!

Each client, fee or no f'ee, 3 months or 30 minutes, is "gold" to you. And I'll tell you why...

What Every Client (or Practice Client) Gives You

  • the feeling you are really a coach, not a fraud

  • a practice that looks busier

  • the potential for more referrals

  • free training

  • more and more confidence with each client

  • possible revenue, either right away or down the track

  • a testimonial

Starting Out!

It's O.K. to be nervous when you are starting out, but do those sessions anyway. The next ones will seem easier. So, coach a lot!

Even if you are doing sessions for free, you will be gaining the confidence and practice to allow yourself to start charging for your work. You will see how you are helping others. You will be able to convince yourself of the importance of coaching in people's lives.

(By the way, if you're concerned about where to find your prospects, how to craft your invitation, and how to motivate yourself to get moving - then relax. I'll give you a link at the end of this article to the speech I delivered at the ICF conference - which explains in detail how to go from ZERO to FIFTY CLIENTS.)


In the beginning, don't distract yourself from coaching with longer-term marketing methods. Could you be trying to avoid coaching by working on your business cards or web site? Work through your confidence issues and explore coaching with your current network.

Once you have about 10 clients you can work with your mentor coach to find more sustainable marketing methods. By this time, your practice will begin to grow naturally in the number of clients, how long they stay and your inc'ome.


If you want to get started, and find out exactly how I've helped over 60 coaches walk this exact path, I highly recommend you listen to the speech I gave to the ICF conference called 'Getting Your First Fifty Clients'. I'm really happy that coaches are getting outstanding results from applying these principles.

You can access this online and on CD at

By David Wood and Geoff Grist

I encourage you to share, replicate or forward this article as long as the author's links and copyright information are kept intact.

David Wood is a Certified Life Coach. He helps coaches, consultants, speakers and trainers to build their businesses via his popular eBook and his audio eBook at Get his new Free Download '50 Power Questions' and popular monthly eZine for clients at coaches (now over 15,000 subscribers) at:

Web site:

Copyright 2004 SolutionBox and

About The Author
David Wood is a Certified Life Coach. He helps coaches, consultants, speakers and trainers to build their businesses via his popular ebook at and his audio ebook at Get his new Free Download "50 Power Questions and popular monthly ezine for clients and coaches (now over 15,000 subscribers) at:


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