For the longest time I would tell anyone that asked that coaching is a luxury. Never one to shy away from controversy, me, I liked that it would cause my new clients, some of whom also happened to be coaches, to have a sharp intake of breath. For the longest time I also believed it to be true. And there is still some truth in it, but mostly… I’ve changed my mind. I love changing my mind. I love encouraging you all to change your mind too, and not just about whether or not to find the funds to invest in business mentoring and personal coaching.
Many would not agree with me, obviously. About the luxury thing, that is. So what coloured my “coaching is a luxury” opinion?
Because I work so closely with clients and their money, I know a lot of intimate details about how people make spending choices. Your luxury is my everyday necessity, and vice versa. And yet, obviously, common themes emerge. I know how people “struggle” to pay their bills, how they prioritise paying their mortgage and the costs of family life. My two recessions have helped me to see all too visibly how people slash and burn their budgets down to the vital necessities of life in order to make it through. And I do the same. I also encourage people to do that, following Rich Dad’s principles that I teach in my monthly Cashflow games. If you keep your expenses as low as possible, you are out of the rat race so much sooner.
And yet life isn’t quite that simple. People will always find the money for what they want. I know how strange we all are when it comes to deciding how to spend our hard-earned. When I was an accountant, I would often sit in the back of the local cheese shop/upscale deli doing their accounts and listening to my clients in the front of the shop, unaware that I was listening as they ordered up a big stash of expensive luxury food items, when I knew they had not yet paid my bill professing shortage of cash and often this would be at Christmas too as if we didn’t deserve to have one. We came second, for sure.
The simple truth is we all find the money for the things which are important to us, the things we make important. Cigarettes. Cinema. A cleaner. My BMW. My Dad’s Scotch whisky. Chocolate, essential obviously. Your football season tickets. Gym membership. A holiday. A bottle of wine – how often? Takeaways. All discretionary. Where do you draw the line between must-have and nice-to-have?
Many’s the time that a kind and generous colleague and I partner up to find ways to make our joint offerings available to mutual clients at prices they can easily afford, often cutting them a spectacular deal, only to shake our heads in wonder as our clients then nip sprightly off for a luxury experience – a cruise, say. And why not? If you can persuade a loyal retainer to work for less, you can afford what you consider to be your luxurious essentials. Good on you! What a wonderful strategy, if you can live with your choices.
There is one more aspect to this too. The cost of coaching should be a stretch. Whilst I try to find lots of ways to make it affordable so as many clients can take advantage of it as possible, if I make it too cheap you don’t show up. You must think of it as a financial investment which you take as seriously as any other. You are investing in wealth creation through your own small business.
Right now my viewpoint is that coaching is not a luxury. I’ve seen too much evidence all around me that those who invest thrive.
So I’d encourage you to go back to the budget and find a way to jiggle things around a bit. And spend your money wisely. Keep an eye out for seasonal special offers and early bird discounts and incentives. And once you are in, get the best bang for your buck that you can by showing up to everything included in the deal – the weekly or monthly calls, the Monday morning check-in sessions, the live Facebook group meetings, the Cashflow games and the Summer Party. They are all there for a reason, to get you from where you are now to where you’d prefer to be.
A year from now your finances could be in a whole different place where you’ll never again have to struggle or juggle to find the money to invest in you. Whatever your viewpoint, what could be more luxurious than the coaching relationship, delicious leisurely conversations with the focus 100% on you? We all love a little luxury and all you have to do is decide that you’re worth it.