Book Club: The Prosperous Coach


Show Notes

Tyler mentions it often, and it's high time we had a proper discussion about it. The book is "The Prosperous Coach" by Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin. From getting better at selling to working with extraordinary clients, there's something in this book for every business owner, whether or not you consider yourself a coach per se.

  • (00:00) - Gardening
  • (02:30) - The Prosperous Coach
  • (05:38) - People don't buy hours of coaching
  • (11:38) - Coaching and the business of coaching
  • (17:17) - Talk about your accomplishments
  • (21:39) - Extraordinary clients



[00:00:00] Steve: All right. So Tyler, the other day I was in my front yard. I have these flower beds, well, they're not really flower beds, they're rock beds. There's bushes, but there's no flowers, and I don't want the weeds either. So I lay down the weed barrier, put the rocks on top, you know, but the, the, the, the weeds still get through.

So every once in a while I have to go pull the weeds out which is, you know, annoying, but it's gotta get done so that the house looks nice. But it occurred to me, I have often thought that once you reach adulthood, a lot of life is sort of just gardening, like keeping, keeping the things going. It's maintenance.

[00:00:39] Tyler: Yeah.

[00:00:40] Steve: And normally I think of that in terms of do a little bit every day. You know, keep, you know, just keep the things up, keep them going.

[00:00:48] Tyler: Consistency.

[00:00:49] Steve: Consistency. There you go. But the weeds in my front yard are kind of different. If I just let them grow for a month and then I clear them all out at once, it's actually easier to pull them up because they have grown larger, they're easier to get the roots out.

And so, I don't know how to feel about this because it's kind of the opposite of my normal philosophy of gardening, of just do, do a little bit at a time and take care of things as they come up.

Where, the front yard, I'm, I'm very happy to just let it go for a month because it'll be easier to just pull the, pull the tall weeds.

[00:01:32] Tyler: Well, life is all about tradeoffs and that seems like a reasonable tradeoff, right? You're, you're batching the task of weeding to once a month, which sounds really efficient, but the tradeoff is, you have weeds for a few weeks, I guess, that people can see and judge you by your yard, I guess. But,

[00:01:48] Steve: Right. My, my neigh--, my next door neighbor has a pristine lawn. He takes really good care of it. And, and my lawn is not, not pristine, so I feel a little bad about that. But what do you do?

[00:02:03] Tyler: Yeah. That's interesting.

[00:02:04] Steve: Gardening.

Hello there. Dear listener, I am Steve.

[00:02:13] Tyler: And I'm Tyler, and this is, It's Not About the Money where we discuss a wide range of topics related to creating and running small businesses.

[00:02:22] Steve: The two of us are small business owners ourselves, just trying to make sense of the world, one podcast at a time.

Today we have a possibly recurring feature on the podcast. We're going to do a book club. And the book is called "The Prosperous Coach: Increase Income and Impact for You and Your Clients."

It's written by Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin. And the uh, eagle-eared listener. Is that a thing? Eagle-eared? The folks who have been paying attention will notice that Tyler has mentioned this book many times.

[00:02:57] Tyler: Yeah, I was gonna say, I wonder which one of us recommended this book.

[00:03:02] Steve: Mm-hmm.

[00:03:03] Tyler: It was me.

[00:03:05] Steve: Absolutely. And I thought it was a great book.

[00:03:10] Tyler: Yeah. One of the reasons I suggested this for our book club episode is because as I was reading it, I couldn't help thinking about your business actually, and we've talked about some of this a little bit here and there in previous episodes. So I'm really curious to get your reaction to the book and whether you feel like well, whether you agree with my thoughts about that.

Like how about does it apply to you at all? Do certain parts of it apply and others not, et cetera. So I'm

[00:03:38] Steve: Okay. Well, it's funny you say that because when I started reading it, I listened to the audiobook actually, but started, I thought, should I be a coach? Like, is this, is this, is that what I should be doing with my life?

[00:03:49] Tyler: Wait, what made you think that? Just cause it sounds so

[00:03:51] Steve: I can't remember now exactly, but just the, the, it's a compelling vision of a business owner who serves his clients very well and can meet their needs and help improve their lives. Somebody who's making a difference in the world, that that was a compelling vision as I'm starting to read this book. So I think that's, it was something like that.

[00:04:19] Tyler: Well I like that and I, I, and maybe that's why I couldn't help but think of your business and potentially other businesses, because there are elements of what they teach about how to be a coach in this book that could be talked about in terms of just providing excellent service, regardless of what you do.

Right? And you know, I guess the reason someone like me would be interested in a book like this is because I own a coaching business and I want to know how to succeed and grow and be a prosperous coach. So a lot of the book focuses on things we've talked about in previous episodes, like how to find/create clients and how to grow your business as a coach and how it's different from other business models potentially. But like I said, I, I've imagined so much of this is just widely applicable.

[00:05:08] Steve: I agree. The, the further in, I got the more it became focused on coaching specifically. But I do think, I, I agree with you that there are principles all throughout the book that apply no matter what business you're in. If you're serving customers, trying to help make their lives better, there's something in here for you.

[00:05:28] Tyler: Yeah, absolutely. So I'm, I'm curious, what are some of the things in this book that stuck out to you as someone who's running a tax preparation business?

[00:05:37] Steve: Mm-hmm. Okay. Let's go through a few of those. One theme that I noticed is that they said something along the lines of, people don't buy hours of coaching. They're, they're buying, what they're trying to buy is a life transformation or a path toward achieving a goal or, so they're, they're trying to buy the outcome, I guess is what I'm saying.

[00:06:00] Tyler: Huh.

[00:06:01] Steve: And it reminds me of a quote by a business coach for CPAs. Her name is Geraldine Carter. And I follow her work. She's got a lot of great stuff, but she said once nobody ever bought a pound of engineering. You don't go out to buy engineering. You, you go out with a, like, you've got water that collects on your driveway when it rains, and the thing that you want to buy is for the water not to be there when it rains.

So you want proper drainage or whatever. You don't really care what it takes. You don't care that you have to calculate the flow rate of the, the water and all of that. Like that doesn't matter to you. You just want the water to be gone and never to come back. And that's so a, as the engineer selling those services, you have to position it that way cuz that's a much more compelling thing than you can hire me for five hours and I can do engineering for you.

Like, what, what, what does that

[00:06:58] Tyler: Right. Yeah, that's interesting. I mean, yeah, I, I would say the same thing applies like a real obvious coaching example to me would be the realm of personal training, right? Where people are trying to either lose weight or gain muscle, or both, like that's what they want. They wanna look good, they wanna feel good.

They're not, yeah, they're not necessarily paying for the hours; they want the results. How? How do, and I can, I mean, I have my own thoughts about this, but how, how do you see that applying to your business?

[00:07:31] Steve: Well, Geraldine Carter uses that story to relate to accounting specifically, or clients don't want to buy accounting. They want to buy you know, whatever goal it is they're trying to achieve in their business. And it's not really, the accounting is sort of just a, a, a thing that has to happen in order to achieve the business goals.

[00:07:49] Tyler: Mm-hmm.

[00:07:50] Steve: So as an, as a tax professional, I can't sell the accounting, that's not a compelling offer, but I can, I can sell. What That's the, that's the part I'm trying to figure out still. I suppose

[00:08:03] Tyler: Yeah. Well, that's fair. I,

[00:08:05] Steve: now that you ask

[00:08:06] Tyler: well, we've talked about peace of mind, convenience,

[00:08:09] Steve: Oh yes, that's right. That's true. So yeah, the peace of mind, the um, sort of being a trusted advisor who can guide you along these things, help you make the decisions that you're not quite sure about because you don't know the territory of taxes or whatever, bookkeeping.

[00:08:28] Tyler: Yep.

[00:08:30] Steve: Yeah. And that's the thing that people want.

Another thing that I thought of while we were reading that, we've mentioned this other book $100M Offers by Alex Hormozi.,

He said something similar that people are looking to buy in order to reduce risk, and that's risk to their time or to their money or to the likelihood of success. And so if you can craft an offer that uh, conveys that they will save time or they will save money by paying you, or they will increase their likelihood of success by hiring you, that's a compelling offer.

[00:09:09] Tyler: Yeah, and that's a huge part of the value proposition of coaches specifically, I think is often people are coming regardless of what you're seeking coaching for. Could be personal finance, could be physical fitness, could be all kinds of things. There's all kinds of like life coaches out there. You've tried to succeed many times and you haven't achieved the results that you want on your own, and so now you're open to help from someone else, right?

And so the perception of increasing the likelihood of success, I think is a big selling point. You know, I will be more successful if I have someone helping me. I just did this by the way. I just hired a coach to help me with my physical fitness, or I should say my lack of physical fitness for this exact reason, right?

I mean, I've got my exercise bike, I've got my weights, I've had periods of semi-consistency in my own working out over the years, but I'm like, you know what? I'm gonna hire someone to help me. It's, we just started this week actually. It's, it's great. I'm excited

[00:10:12] Steve: Oh, cool

[00:10:12] Tyler: because I think I'm more likely to succeed if I have someone coaching me.

[00:10:16] Steve: Mm-hmm. Well, and I, I think Rich and Steve would be pleased with you because they're, they do make a point somewhere in the book of if, if you're a coach, you ought to have a coach as well. If only for the, the fact that that conveys that you believe in coaching that enough that you'll hire coaches to help you as well.

[00:10:37] Tyler: Yeah. Yeah, I can I tell a little story right here? I guess I, the timing on this is very interesting because I haven't hired a coach prior to now. This is my first time. And I know that they said that in the book, and I was like, yeah, that's interesting. I, I don't know if I believe in it as much as. You know, I don't know if I'm ready to put my money where my mouth is.

But just last week I had one of my clients tell me that they feel that the money that they spent for my services was the best money they ever spent. I know it was probably hyperbole. I almost wept with joy, you know? It was great. It was, and I was like, wow. So for me, I was like, wow, this works. This is having a huge impact. I'm making a difference.

And that is actually what put me over the edge to hire my own coach. Cause I'm like, well, if I can do this for someone, why couldn't someone do it for me? So yeah, it's kind of all aboard the hype train, I guess. But it's it's exciting.

[00:11:36] Steve: That is exciting.

Another thing that I liked is they, they used the term "enrollment conversation" instead of like a "discovery call" or an "intake call," or, I just thought that was kind of a nice term, "enrollment conversation."

[00:11:53] Tyler: Yeah. I wonder, you know, when I first heard this idea, I was like, okay, is this just semantics? I mean, it's really just a sales call, right? But, but I think one of the major points of this book is that no, it is substantially different from a sales call. I mentioned this in a previous episode, but they, in the book there's a, a Venn diagram and there's two circles of the Venn diagram, and one circle is coaching and the other circle is selling coaching.

And I think their argument is that the more those two circles overlap, the happier you're going to be as a coach and the more successful you're going to be. Because many coaches love the coaching part of that Venn diagram, but are either uncomfortable with or actually actively dislike the selling part of the Venn diagram.

And so it's like you could be the greatest coach in the world, but if, if you can't sell that, then no one's gonna know because they're not experiencing that.

[00:12:53] Steve: Right.

Part of the way that I think they're saying you get to that is the, their idea of no sale was ever made outside of a conversation. Like you, you you don't sell coaching by selling the idea of it. You sell coaching by having clients experience it.

[00:13:09] Tyler: Well, I'm curious if you think that Venn diagram or the principle that the book talks about by way of that Venn diagram, does that apply to your business model? Or is it more coaching specific as opposed to tax professional? You know, I, what do you think about that?

[00:13:28] Steve: Yeah, that's a good question that I have been wondering as well, because the, the thing that I can do for clients is give them advice and do technical work on their accounting which is slightly different from coaching, but there's also a lot of overlap. Like it's, it's a lot of teaching them how to use a system, how to implement something, how to plan or structure their business so that it's more tax efficient. Disabusing them of of crazy tax ideas that they got from TikTok, whatever it might be. You know,

[00:14:10] Tyler: That's what you do for,

[00:14:11] Steve: there's all that, guidance and coaching, aside from just the technical work that I do, which is more behind the scenes. And so I do wonder if I can bring more of that into the sales aspect of it. Where I'm helping them right from the start, and they're seeing that they can see kind of the value that I can bring beyond-- like, yes, I have the credentials. I've, I can do the technical work for you, but also I can be your, your trusted advisor on this journey of running your business.

[00:14:46] Tyler: So that's interesting. So maybe. When you were describing that, and I don't know exactly what you currently do in your sales calls or your consultations, so maybe you already do this, I don't know, but it seems like you could do a lot by way of asking them questions and trying to understand their goals.

I'm sure you do this I to some degree, but, you know, and just like get really deep with them and, and, and help them experience what it would be like to work with you from that perspective, right? Like how involved you're gonna be, how much you're gonna care about the details of their situation.

[00:15:17] Steve: Okay. Yeah.

[00:15:18] Tyler: I mean, I don't know if that, that's one take on it.

I guess you could try.


[00:15:22] Steve: Yeah, I like that idea. They mentioned somewhere in the book, I don't know if I wrote it down, but asking about, oh, here it is. Understand the goal behind the goal. Ask about your clients' clients. So like, try and figure out who are they trying to serve and what do those folks need?

And then you can kind of work backwards from there. To help kind of both levels. That's sort of what, sounds to me like what you are describing. A as part of that, asking those deep questions and trying to figure out what, what it is that they need.

[00:15:52] Tyler: Yeah. Yeah. No, I think that like never underestimate the power of active, like strong listening. I think what, it doesn't matter what you're trying to do in your life, if you can give someone your full attention, your full undivided attention and try to understand them, they're gonna love you. I mean, they're gonna start to trust you.

I mean, that's such a rare thing in our world. I think that that would apply to any business, I think, you know? Yeah. Understanding their client's, client's needs. That's like another level, right? The, the more levels you can peel back the more Well, what's the word? Not thorough, but like, yeah. Well, I guess so. I mean, I, I hesitate to use the word intimate, but like, honestly there's like a degree of that, you know? You know, like becoming more familiar with their situation and, and building trust there.

[00:16:43] Steve: and where they can feel like, yes, this person cares about me, but also they care about the thing that I care about-- doing the the good that I want to do in the world. They're also invested in that.

[00:16:53] Tyler: Mm-hmm. That's cool. And that's one of the things I love about being in these service type businesses is that's kind of what, like it's a great business for people who are genuinely interested in helping other people succeed.

[00:17:09] Steve: Mm-hmm.

[00:17:10] Tyler: And if you're into that, like it's just such a nice alignment of what your values are and what you're trying to provide.

So that's cool.

[00:17:17] Steve: Okay, so here's one that struck me a little bit that I don't do very well yet. And they said something about don't be afraid to talk about your accomplishments, because clients want that. Like if you're too self-effacing, then how do they know that they can trust you? Like you have to be able to talk about what you can do, who you have helped in the past, those kind of things.

Otherwise uh, who are you? Like they, they don't know. They have no way of knowing unless you talk about it yourself.

[00:17:48] Tyler: And it doesn't, if it doesn't sound like you believe in yourself and you're confident in your ability to deliver, then that's kind of off-putting too.

[00:17:56] Steve: Yeah, that too.

[00:17:57] Tyler: Just out of curiosity, do you collect testimonials from your clients? Um,

[00:18:02] Steve: I have not yet, but I know that it needs to be done.

[00:18:06] Tyler: Ah ha! Yeah, it's interesting. I I think Alex Hormozi, I know this is not the Alex Hormozi book club. This is the Prosperous Coach book club, but I think, you know this is actually for not, well, I don't know if it's in that book or not, but I heard him in sales training say like, you know, if you ever are feeling down or, you know, struggling with this, like read your client testimonials, like read them to yourself, like your clients, like you, they appreciate what you're doing. You need to remind yourself of that, and you need to talk about it.

[00:18:33] Steve: Mm-hmm.

[00:18:33] Tyler: So that's a good one.

[00:18:34] Steve: Okay. I hadn't thought of using them that way.

[00:18:37] Tyler: Yeah. Like as your little.

[00:18:38] Steve: because I know I need them for like, to have on the website or to be able to show other prospective clients. Cuz I, I had even one specifically ask me recently, like, can I talk to one or two of your current clients to hear what it's like to work with you?

And I didn't have anything of that published, so I had to connect them directly, which was fine. It worked out. But it would, you know, it would be nice to just have that ready to show to somebody, but also to, to uh, be able to read myself on occasion.

[00:19:08] Tyler: To, to, you know, when you're feeling down, when things aren't going well, read those testimonials and, and pick yourself up a little bit.

You know. Um, Something that I've been experimenting with in this realm is instead of just asking clients for testimonials, I created a bit of a more involved form.

And I have like well, we don't need to get too in into it right now unless you're interested, but you know, it has a few questions about, you know, what, what was the problem that you were experiencing before we worked together? You know, what's changed since we started working together? Some more specific questions rather than just a blank slate, like what was, you know, gimme testimonial.

[00:19:46] Steve: And when do you have them fill this out?

[00:19:49] Tyler: It's custom. So typically toward the end of an engagement, right? Cause I, I do want to get their like complete experience captured, if that makes sense from start to finish. But typically they're just kind of, I find a moment that where it naturally comes up. Like, with the client that told me that this was the best money he's ever spent, that was not too long after that comment that I was like, Hey, I really appreciate that. Would you mind filling out this feedback form that I have?

And it is a feedback form, so it asks other things like, you know, what could go better? You know, it's, it's not, it's not long, but it gives a few different angles to. For, for different types of feedback. And then I ask at the end like, would you give me permission to use your feedback as a testimonial?

And that's nice for a couple reasons because I get positive feedback and constructive feedback, if that makes sense. All in the same form. And if they give me their consent, I'm able to kind of edit that together into a testimonial of the right length, you know, that I would need to put on my website or, or whatever.

So it's kind of, I don't know. I found

[00:20:55] Steve: this idea.

[00:20:56] Tyler: yeah, if you want, I can share the form with you later and you can take what you like. But yeah, I mean, if you're having, I know you're having clients and you're having success, so you gotta get those testimonials. It's awesome. And then you'll have a database of things to tell potential clients right about you, to the point of the, the book here.

[00:21:18] Steve: And that one, I did write down the chapter that was in the chapter 44. Don't Be a Wallflower, which I tend to be a wallflower generally speaking.


[00:21:27] Tyler: me, me and you

[00:21:28] Steve: Catchy title. Caught my eye. Cool. Well, I wrote that down. That's a good idea. I'll go do that.

[00:21:36] Tyler: Great. I wanna share one of the lines from the book that really struck me. It's. I won't quote it verbatim cuz it's part of like a dialogue. But basically the question is posed what's the secret to being an extraordinary coach? And the answer is have extraordinary clients. And I was like, haha.

Easier said than done. You know, like that's. But I will tell you that is the truest thing. I think I have come to find out, even from just doing this for half year or so right now, I. Getting the right client makes me a better coach,

[00:22:18] Steve: Hmm. That's fascinating.

[00:22:21] Tyler: and I'm, yeah. I'm not sure how to like, replicate this, you know, I mean, I, I would say, you know, I'm, I, I'm pretty selec-- you know, I have a limited number of hours to do this, and so I am already pretty selective about which clients I work with, and so I, I really am proud to say that I like all of my clients. They're awesome people. They're the kind of person I want to be working with.

And I don't know, I've been pondering this line a lot cause I'm like, what does it mean? Like, does having extraordinary clients make me a better coach? Because there's like synergies in our conversations and like, I think yes, that's part of it.

It's also just so much easier to work with awesome clients. It just flows like they're ready. They, they show up ready to, to work and to learn, and it's just awesome. And, and therefore success rates are higher, you know? So anyway, that's just something that stuck out to me. I, I, I don't really know what to make of it. It seems like a little circular logic to me. Like I, okay, cool. So how do you get those? Yeah.

[00:23:20] Steve: you get the extraordinary clients?

[00:23:22] Tyler: But regardless, it's, it's, it's, it's true in my experience.

[00:23:29] Steve: Huh.

[00:23:29] Tyler: And I'm like, is that relatable to you at all? I mean, I don't know. I, there's probably a wide range of cases that you could choose to work with in a tax preparation business.

[00:23:40] Steve: Oh, definitely. And the, the thing that came to mind as you were describing this was niching and like finding the particular area of taxes that I really enjoy working with and finding the clients that want help there and are really ready for it. Those are, that's where I have the most fun is when I'm really working in, in my genius and being able to, working with really good clients who, you know, we can build something great together in that in that space. So I think for me it's I, I've seen glimpses of what that will be like as I'm continuing to get better and narrow in on what exactly it is that I want to focus on in my practice.

[00:24:29] Tyler: So if you can't tell both Steve and I have really enjoyed this book, the Prosperous Coach, and we found application for outside of the Business of Coaching, I'd say I'd recommend reading it for sure. If you're listening to this podcast, it's got the kind of stuff in it that you would be interested in and that could help you regardless of what you're trying to accomplish.

[00:24:49] Steve: Yeah, I agree with that. And the, the chapters are very readable. They're, most of them are quite short, so you feel like you're, you're making progress all the time as you go through the book. So it's not, it's not a difficult book to read either.

[00:25:04] Tyler: It's not a difficult book to read. And I would also say as far as self-help slash educational books go, it's got really actionable content. So it's, you know, yeah, there's theory, there's ideas, but there are also lists of like, I think it's 18 things or like, do these 18 things or learn how to do these 18 things and do them over and over and keep getting better at them.

And if you do them, you know, you'll find success. So it's, it's a great combination for me of theoretical advice and then practical advice that you can actually apply.

[00:25:38] Steve: Yeah, I think we can probably end there, there's a whole lot more we could talk about. But that's probably good for,

[00:25:48] Tyler: Yeah, I agree. I think this we'll be back to the prosperous coach, I'm sure at some

[00:25:51] Steve: Yeah. Oh, it will, it will come up again, no doubt.

[00:25:55] Tyler: All right. Well, thanks for listening.

[00:25:57] Steve: Yeah. We'll see you all on another episode of, It's Not About the Money.

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