On Late Payments, Broken Agreements, Chargebacks, and Money Owed
Late payments, “broken” payment agreements, chargebacks, indebtedness…
I have been – and still am! – both that coach and that client.
(When you’re an entrepreneur working with entrepreneurs, these things are par for the course. This path is constantly showing us those things within us that get to be witnessed, loved, and healed… and ooooooh boy is money one of the big ones.)
The difference is that, just a few short years ago, these experiences would wreck me – emotionally, spiritually, physically, and of course, financially.
Same for the clients I work with.
Today, sh!tty money experiences are like hiccups – annoying sometimes, sure – yet, fleeting, unremarkable, and utterly incapable of destroying my peace and flow in mind, body, spirit, or wallet.
And, changing our (all of our) relationship with money has become one of the most potent and integral teachings in all of my programs; and among the most powerful catalysts of transformation in all aspects of my clients’ lives and businesses.
I’m working to radically shift my relationship with money (and coaching my clients to do the same), with the intention of ushering in a new financial paradigm for all of us.
“Why might we need or want a new financial paradigm,” you ask…?
Well, in the current online coaching space, there is a degree of insidious, intentional sabotage of people’s confidence, understanding, and even skills, around managing money. (It’s why the industry is often likened to an MLM/pyramid scheme.)
I won’t dive too deeply into this here; yet, it’s important to name, and I’ll explore it further in future content.
Why our “Relationship with Money”?
versus, say… “Making More Money” (including: “High Ticket Fees,” “More Profit,” and the like)? Or “Money Mindset” (“Abundance Mindset,” “High Vibe”)?
Because your relationship with money includes (and transcends; and in fact, creates) all of those things. And when I say “your relationship” I mean yours, which is different from mine, or another of my client’s; or your mother’s, your neighbor’s, your best friend’s… you get it.
So, how to “Make More Money,” and “Have an Abundance/Positive Money Mindset” looks very, very different for you than it does for me, my client, your client, and indeed, your mom.
(You might begin to see why some of those ‘Money’ teachings and coaches you followed never quite worked for you, even as they seemed to work for others. They weren’t “wrong;” they simply taught from a very different Money Relationship than you had/have, and didn’t go deep enough to create true transformation.)
What does “Relationship with Money” really mean?
Well, just like in interpersonal relationships, I mean your:
- and Physical connections…
with the both the idea, or concept, of money; and the real-life actual stuff of it.
I’ll be diving into how to begin to transform all of those things in this post.
Ending the secret* shame – and the money mess – of the Transformational Coaching space begins here.
*(Is it all that secret, though?)
So, you’re an excellent coach – and you know it – yet, client results don’t always demonstrate what you know in your bones to be true.
Take financial results, for example. You might know that your coaching always – or just about always – translates into financial results – even as “money” is far from the focus of your work.
Yet, those results don’t always (in fact, almost never) happen in the way that you, and, importantly, your clients, hope or expect. All too often, they’ll have a veritable explosion of cash near the beginning of your program; but then the well runneth dry immediately, and for months thereafter.
Or, they’ll get so excited by this new version of themselves that they discover in your work together that they decide to scrap everything (including the financial resources they require) to “reinvent” themselves.
Or, they’ll come into your program confident AF (as the kids say) about their ability to make a lot of money (and fast!) through your work together; and, inspired and excited by their confidence, you enroll them without blinking an eye…
only to discover they were nowhere near ready (or willing!) for the transformational work you actually do. Nor were they ready or willing to “wait” for all that money they’ve now convinced themselves you promised them.
So, delayed payments, non-payment, broken contracts, chargebacks: your clients to you, their clients to them, you to those you pay and invest with; money owed all around. And it feels like sh!t. You feel like sh!t.
This is my story, too.
See, I’m talking to “you,” yet, this is also (very, very, very much) my story. (And that of many of my clients, as well.)
Two years ago, tired of feeling like sh!t, and having it ‘up to here’ with the seedy underbelly of the transformational coaching space, I decided to do something about it. I started by getting really curious about this strange phenomenon that I, and many, many, many other talented Transformational Coaches I had spoken with had experienced:
How can we be so deeply, solidly, in-our-bones sure that Transformational Coaching (and by that I mean: identity-shifting work) actually does create real-world, tangible, brass-tacks changes, like financial ones, when the evidence (in the form of client results) is so wildly inconsistent, as to be, well, no evidence at all?
What I found was pretty damn shocking.
The answer to my question was another question (ha ha! typical); a tiny, yet intimidating AF, one-word question:
I was sure that Transformational Coaching created tangible results (like money), yet, when confronted (by my own self) with the question of “how” that actually happens, I felt myself go flush. I stumbled over my words…
I heard things like “expansion” and “consciousness” and “energy” and “confidence” spill, incoherently, out of my mouth.
Tears welled up in my eyes. I felt shame.
Suddenly it all made sense…
Informed, and strongly influenced, by the very logic-based (not to mention ubiquitous) “Find a High-Value Problem You Can Solve” coaching/business and marketing advice, plus our own, educated understanding of the way the human mind and energy systems work; we had put all our attention, energy, and focus on creating (or re-creating, or downright duplicating- no shame here – it’s the norm) a program that follows a process that works.
And we unintentionally neglected to go deeper and ask, “HOW?”
‘Problem-Solving’ Coaches and Marketers need not go here, because the answer to “How?” is “Logic.”
Their processes, or methods, work the way they do, because the mind works that way. Simple.
Transformational (again: deep, transpersonal, identity-shifting) coaching, though, works with the mind, yes; and the heart; and the body; and the energetic (subtle body) systems. Not so simple.
So, when a client (and you, as their coach) starts getting antsy because they’re not seeing the tangible results (like money) in the way and at the speed they expected; and their logical mind kicks in and starts asking pointed questions about why it’s “not working,” and your logical (and brilliant) mind struggles to answer: you feel shame.
And what does shame do, in an intimate, transformational coaching relationship that is quite literally designed to influence on every level: mind, heart, body, and subtle…? Your client feels shame, too.
And shame is notoriously terrible at managing (talking about, thinking about, organizing, investing, paying, or making) money.
The “secret shame” of the online coaching space, you see, isn’t how much money goes un-made, unpaid, lost, and owed; it’s that we haven’t known how to articulate how our work, actually works.
In other words, we’ve offered strategies that make logical sense, without robust, solid, and unique methodologies that also work with the physical, emotional, intuitive, and subtle senses.
The “secret shame” of the Transformational Coaching space is not how much money goes un-made, unpaid, lost, and owed.
It’s when that methodology (our unique “how”) is in place that we can:
- clearly articulate expectations, both before and during a coaching engagement, around, for example, when and why a client will – or won’t – see a particular tangible result (like oodles of cash); and
- and know clearly and exactly who is truly ready and willing to go with you to the depths that you go; and who absolutely is not.
Shame cannot (and does not, as I’ve seen and experienced myself and again and again with clients) co-exist with this level of clarity.
“Business,” “Spiritual,” and “Spiritual Business” Coaches have ruined money.
High time we fix that.
Quotation marks up there very much intended to distinguish the charlatans (about whom I’m speaking) from the genuine (to whom I’m speaking – hi, you!). Plenty has been written absolutely – and mostly justifiably – lambasting this coach or that and the “industry” as a whole. This isn’t that. (Frankly, I’m bored.)
Instead, I want you to know that, as one of the ‘genuine’ ones, it’s entirely within your power (indeed, within our power) to fix what’s broken. And not (only) toward some lofty, savioristic(?) “for the sake of humanity” intention, but for the clients; your clients; the ones you have now, and for the next, and the next, and the next one you meet on a sales call.
To quote the venerable Elle Woods, “What, like it’s hard?” (It really isn’t.)
Here are some practical things I’ve implemented over the last couple years that have made a massive difference, financially, for myself, and for my clients…
1 – WHEN PEOPLE SAY THEY CAN’T AFFORD IT, I BELIEVE THEM.
I know. Super unpopular “sales strategy.”
Also, f@ck “sales strategies.”
2 – WHEN PEOPLE SAY, “TAKE MY MONEY!”, I DON’T ALWAYS LET THEM.
In other words, I (gently) say “no” to people who, for example, have the money (for a big deposit) now; yet don’t have the structures and resources in place to continue to make payments, and/or would be putting themselves or their businesses in jeopardy to do so.
This has perhaps been the hardest commitments I’ve ever had to make, because I totally get where these people are coming from; I am these people! Eyes (vision) much, much bigger than our bank accounts, and with a certainty that we’ve never met an obstacle we couldn’t leap over, and laugh at, mockingly, as we did.
I – and I’m assuming you – want visionary risk-takers as clients because they are hands-down the most fun and fulfilling to coach. They’re also the most successful.
And yet, there’s a groundedness, an intelligence about this collective reality (that we all agree to perpetuate) that, when also present in ourselves and in a client, makes all the difference.
Successful disruptors are, after all, intimately familiar, and intimately connected with that which they’re disrupting; just as leading-edge thinkers know just as much (if not more) about the territory behind them as they do about that which lies on the other side.
3 – I PUT STRUCTURES IN PLACE TO MANAGE UNCERTAINTY… AND I’M CONSTANTLY LEARNING.
One of the best things I did when it comes to money & business was to read Profit First by Mike Michalowicz and implement a (very, very basic) version of that system; and then, to share that system with my clients. (And, of course, to recommend they read the book for themselves.)
Is it the best book ever written about money for small business owners? Probably not. I don’t know what book is, and I don’t need to. I’ll read ‘em anyway! (Send me your rec’s, please.)
What I do know is that it’s incredibly accessible and a simple, tangible, real-world, big-girl business thing that is all too often ignored by influencer “business” (read: “sales”) coaches, and rejected as “too 3D” (or some nonsense) by “spiritual business” coaches; yet, has the power to make a massive difference for those of us (and those of our clients) who never any real business education, and instead have relied on our street smarts and whimsical sense of adventure out here in the wilds of “online business.”
The other significant structure I put in place was to engage a company that enables people to obtain funding in order to work with me; and enables me to be paid in full, up front. This means that clients can have (very) extended payment plans with small monthly payments; financing arrangments I cannot feasibly offer on my own.
That means way better cash flow management for both of us. It also means that prospective clients, like those I mentioned in points 1 & 2, may actually be able to work with me after all.
These three simple commitments accomplish three (massive!) things simultaneously…
First, they significantly reduce (or eliminate) the missed payment(s), broken contracts, and/or chargebacks inevitably coming your way in: 3…2…1.
Even if you’ve evolved way past panic at these things (as I’ve done: see Part 1 of this series on my profile), why put yourself in the position of having to deal with it ever again?
You’re infinitely worthy of so much better.
SECOND, I get to work ENTIRELY in my genius, with clients (particularly private 1-1 clients) who are entirely READY to go as deep as I go…
and those clients get to experience the radical, whole-life-transforming results that I can only deliver (and they can only receive) when we go there.
Now, what I am not saying is that only people who have a certain amount of money can work with me. What I am saying is that I need not coach them through their “money mindset,” or in any way involve myself in their banking and investments before we even get started; and instead, fully trust that they know themselves and their own finances well enough to make their own decisions.
Besides, compound interest just doesn’t do it for me; know what I mean?
THIRD, these commitments begin to heal wounds caused by rampant (financial, et al.) exploitation by bad coaches & coaching.
And that happens through the simple, yet profoundly compassionate act of meeting someone where they are, and making it fully okay for them to be there. There’s nothing more healing than that.
And there’s nothing more that better epitomizes what Coaching should be, which is why these wounds are healed, not only for the next client and the next, but for all of us.