Is the coaching industry a pyramid scheme?

When Andrea Owen  from Your Kick Ass Life came on my show late last year, we had a LOT to talk about. the key topic was what it REALLY took to build a successful coaching business.

Since then the industry seems to have bloomed/ballooned depending on your perspective with a proliferation of high ticket programs promised 6 figures in ridiculously short timescales.

Add in a few scandals and some fairly outrageous claims of success from people telling others how to make it as a coach (without necessarily having a track record to speak of themselves). The fact that for most people, building a coaching business can feel like a lot of hard work with very little to show for it in the beginning causes them to wonder if the only way to make money in coaching is through selling services to coaches. It’s prompted more than a few people to ask ‘is the coaching industry a pyramid scheme?’

coaching industry pyramid scheme

Andrea and I are passionate broads – we love coaching and are desperately trying to walk the line between:

you can SO do this, you go girlfriend!


This is WAY harder than anyone tells you and you need to be prepared for  a LONG. HARD. road ahead.

The truth of most people’s experience is it’s somewhere in the middle.

Coaching is a brilliant, nurturing, amazing, industry. We get to do soul feeding work. But it’s a business and setting up and running a business is a learning curve that’s steep for many of us. It’s also something that’s not taught very well by coaching schools – after all they’re in the business of teaching people how to be great coaches.

And honestly, I don’t know anyone in this industry who genuinely went from zero to six figures in a few months.

No one.

Even those people who SAY they’ve gone from zero to six figures in a few months turn out to have had previous businesses, lots of prior experience or have made that six figures by investing a similar amount (turnover and revenue are two very different things).

And it’s therefore easy to become cynical and conclude that building a coaching business is impossible – or that the coaching industry is a pyramid scheme where the only one’s making money are those selling services to other coaches. But the truth is way more boring that that. Coaching is like any other business – you need a solid foundation and some fundamentals in place from which to build.

Andrea Owen Your Kick Ass Life

So Is The Coaching Industry A Pyramid Scheme?

And if not, how do you build a profitable business as a coach?

Andrea and I revisit our conversion on what it really takes to be a successful life coach and we cover:

  • How to decide whether to invest in that big ticket coaching program
  • Whether the coaching industry is becoming a giant pyramid scheme (hint: It’s not – but there are some dodgy characters out there, and we tell you how to avoid them).
  • The simple brass tacks fundamentals of what you need to start doing.
  • What advice the Andrea Owen of today would give to the Andrea Owen just starting out
  • The 1 thing you need to be consistently doing above everything else to make this gig work.

 Show notes:

How To Fascinate by Sally Hogshead

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