The More for Free, the More for a Fee

Apr 01, 2020

When I began my coaching business, I just wanted someone to pay me for my time. I had just finished up my time in corporate America, and my resume was so full of holes that no one would have me for the salary I was asking. I finished runner-up for 4-5 positions, and I saw the writing on the wall. That door had closed. It was time to move on.

The only thing I ever enjoyed about my executive positions was developing high-performing teams and high-performing people. When I decided that I would start my own coaching and consulting business, I just wanted someone to pay me. The first invoice paid would be the first time I had ever earned any income without being behind a corporate logo. I was anxious to get my first yes, but I was also terrified that that yes would never come.

My Early Days

I had a coach who taught me the fundamentals. He taught me how to introduce myself as a coach, how to let people know about the pain and the challenges that I helped people overcome, and how to make clear the benefits of working with me. I did all of that with grace and ease. I began having what coaches call “discovery sessions” with people who were interested in sorting out their challenges.

There was a magical moment the first time I was speaking with a prospect when I realized that I could actually help this person overcome their challenges. She was in the real estate industry and had some confidence and courage issues that were getting in her way. I listened to her problems and her challenges, and I got excited. With my United States Marine Corps experience as well as my time in corporate America, it was a slam dunk that I could help her. However, when I asked if she’d be interested in working with me, she was reluctant and hesitant. She began pulling away – even though I knew I could help her. She left without agreeing to coach with me, and I never heard from her again. Total ghost-job.

Nothing But No

For the first few months of my new career, professional after professional pulled away from me without agreeing to work with me. This happened over and over until my first yes – a mortgage broker who said yes and agreed to a very small deal, but two days later texted me to tell me that the yes had turned to a no.

Frustrated, I reflected on what I was doing wrong, and a friend of mine in the coaching business asked me directly, “Mike, how do they know that you can actually help them? How have you proven yourself?” It was a great question, and the question floored me. He was right. I was always up for a challenge, and I now had the opportunity to sort it all out and overcome that challenge.

After I reflected for a while, I decided that there was no way that they could be confident in my abilities. I had no proven experience, no results, and no testimonials. I would need to come at it a different way. I had to coach them before I was their coach. That’s when everything changed.

Show Your Value First

I was sitting with another real estate professional and we were having coffee. He explained his trouble motivating his team of agents. I asked question after question, offered a ton of guidance, gave him many tools, tips, and techniques to help him lead his team more effectively, and probably two hours of powerful coaching to help him move the needle on his team. I spoke like I was already his coach. I didn’t ask him to hire me.

After a few hours, something crazy happened. Because I had given him so much of myself and because he saw the knowledge, wisdom, and power in my words and experience, he hired me. We agreed to two small workshops for his team. My first two deals. I had coached him before I was hired, and he ended up hiring me.

I called my wife and told her that we were in business. This time the yes was really a yes.

Giving Pays

After two days of workshops, two of his team members pulled me aside and asked if I would coach them. I spent some time with each of them and we separately agreed to deals for private coaching – my first two private clients ever. They saw the knowledge, wisdom, and power in the workshops and they hired me because I had already proven myself. From those two yesses, my confidence skyrocketed. My private practice grew fast and furious. I learned my lesson – coach them before I’m their coach.

Since that valuable lesson, I’ve built some really cool offerings in my business. They haven’t all been super successful, but it was still fun to build them. One thing that I remembered from my early coaching experience: give value before you expect value. Give before expecting to receive. I’ve recognized this over and over, and as my business grows, I see that the more I give, the more it expands. The goal is never to see how much I can grow but to see how much I can give. I spend lots of money to market new free offerings, but money always flows back in like magic. Some periods see higher income levels than others, but since I began coaching, I’ve always exceeded my highest level of corporate pay for a full year of sales. Giving pays. That’s been an invaluable lesson to learn.


The Cycle of Value Creation and How to Build Wealth

The Cycle of Value Creation

Here’s a process to follow. I call it my cycle of value creation.

  1. Recognize and develop the value you have to give.
  2. Begin generously giving that value in the world and creating impact. This is the part that most people get hung up on by waiting until someone pays them to begin creating impact. I never stop coaching — ever.
  3. Open yourself to receiving when others are ready to reciprocate with a financial exchange, which sometimes is the hardest part.
  4. Reinvest in your service and impact to increase the strength of your message, reach, and impact. To grow, you must be willing to reinvest time, energy, and money into the process.
  5. Recognize and develop the value you have to give, and begin the process all over again.

The red roadblocks indicate some of the major pitfalls you might experience in your quest. People often face leading and serving society as a “WIIFM,” or “what’s in it for me?” This will bring the entire flywheel to a screeching halt and eliminate the purpose of creating personal power. Poisonous money beliefs that will cause unnecessary pain and suffering, as well as cause you to live a life of scarcity. We are conditioned that money is evil, taking money from others is dirty, money is our lifeblood, and asking for money is greedy. This has caused money guilt and shame to run rampant in our society.

Join My Free Course

I am always looking to expand my business, reach more people, and create more impact in the world.

I’m looking to give more away today. I’m offering my free 10-day Awakened Leadership course totally for free. This course has three outcomes:

  • Understand the non-negotiable leadership orientations and qualities that drive exceptional personal and financial results.
  • Develop a powerful mindset to embrace that results are your duty and obligation to yourself, your society and your family.
  • Gain the focus and capacity to not lose yourself and your family in the process of achieving these personal and financial results.

The course is packed with videos, workbooks, assessments, and action plans to help you become a better leader and to move the needle on your life circumstances. Here’s a chance to create more for yourself and everyone you meet!

Register for my free Awakened Leadership course here!

Gift Away!

I’d also love it if you’d share this article with all the people you care about. Maybe it will inspire them to achieve and create more, and will also help me give more away for free. The more I give away for free, the more my business grows. You’ll be helping me immensely!

Consider where this is true in your life and business, too. It’s a universal law, so it only applies 100 percent of the time. The more you give, the more you receive. Use this law to your advantage. I’ve shared that nugget with you, so that’s even more for me! Have fun with giving stuff away for free. It’s a game. Let’s have some fun and create some impact. We can’t do that keeping all of the good stuff to ourselves. You’ll see that giving is a lot more fun anyway. Happy giving! Gift away!

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