Why We Need To Talk About Coaching Scammers

A little while ago a coach in my circle was scammed by another coach (one she’d hired to help build her business). This certainly isn’t the first time it’s happened in the coaching industry but what struck me in this case was how graceful and eloquent the ‘victim’ was in outing herself and using her experience to try and help others.

April Julson not only shared her story to let others know they were not alone if they’d fallen victim to coaching scammers, but she also took the benefits of hindsight to produce a set of guidelines to try and prevent this from happening to other coaches out there.

Her stand was courageous, honest and vulnerable – just like the woman herself. So I knew I wanted to talk to her in more depth to get this information out there.

How to Avoid being the Victim of Coaching Scammers

I was nervous about even talking about coaching scammers. I mean, we’re meant to be all ‘ra ra’ and ‘think positive’ in the coaching industry (not to mention focusing on what we want to attract rather than avoid – but regular listeners already know my problems with that way of thinking)

But I personally know a handful of people who’ve had this happen to them. A variation of it has happened to me (although my experience wasn’t a scam – more someone who was struggling with some personal stuff that leaked into her business dealing). And if it’s happening to people in my circle than the problem if definitely widespread enough to warrant a conversation.

Like any industry, the coaching world has it’s share of shady characters and we need to have this conversation so that we can be more vigilant as an industry, protect ourselves and each other and draw some very firm lines in the sand around what is and isn’t acceptable business practice – and what we can all do about it.

Whilst it’s thankfully rare and the vast majority of coaches are legit, honest professionals who practice with integrity, there are a few out there who aren’t. And even when the actions (plagiarism, not delivering fully on services, shoddy work and sometimes, total disappearing acts) aren’t always taken from a place of malice, the impact on those on the receiving end can be massive:

Reputations can be trashed, considerable sums of money lost, not to mention the enormous sense of shame many victims feel for being ‘naive’, ‘stupid’, or ‘too trustworthy’.

It can lead to feeling like the world is too dangerous, that they aren’t professional/tough/experienced enough to make it in the business world.

So this is a conversation I’m both nervous and determined to have. Nervous  because I don’t want to scare emerging coaches and entrepreneurs into feeling that this is a shark tank they’re entering where they can’t trust anyone and will have to watch their backs forever. It’s NOT. Most people are brimming over with integrity and heart. But wanting to believe the best of people doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be aware and take some simple precautions.

In this episode about how to avoid coaching scammers, April Julson and I talk about:

  • Why there’s so much shame around being scammed – and why we NEED to have ways of supporting one another to combat this.
  • How our failure to talk about it makes us more vulnerable to unscrupulous people hijacking the coaching industry
  • Why being scammed is far from inevitable – and what you can (and must) do to prevent it happening to you
  • Why we as coaches have a responsibility to talk about this issue so that it doesn’t happen to others and we can end some of the shame victims carry when it happens to them.
  • Some key steps you can take to protect yourself and minimize your chances of being scammed

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

April’s website 

April’s 4 post series all about her experience of being scammed and how she healed & grew from the experience:

Part 1 – What you need to know about being scammed by a coach

Part 2 – What to do if you’ve been scammed

Part 3 – Being Scammed – are you ready to share?

Part 4 – Hiring Tips: How to Minimize your chances of being scammed

Rebecca Tracey’s post – Is your business coach full of sh*t?


About This Week’s Guest:

April Julson is a life coach and mentor who helps heart-centered entrepreneurs that have spent the majority of their life working hard to fit in, now get comfortable and confident in standing out from the crowd. She believes that a successful business starts with knowing, liking, and trusting yourself first- which begins with healing old wounds and stories.

Famous for her sweet and non-judgmental nature, April is a Huffington Post blogger, avid journaler, and adores deep personal discovery. When she is not coaching, you can find her creating journal coaching courses and working on her first book, due out later this year, about journaling and personal growth through unique entrepreneurial fears. To find out more, please visit April on her website.

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