Hey there, freethinker!
I’m still considering business for 2023 over here, moving through new visions of how I can keep supporting coaches to lead support with integrity, wisdom and from a resourced space. With that in mind, this week on the Live Your Freedom Now podcast, I am re-releasing this episode on the the Dominant Dogma used inside marketing that says:
“I did it, so can you!”
This is an important narrative to look at both in your own marketing & coaching and when you are discerning what support to invest in yourself. This episode encourages you to embrace your individual experiences, confront privilege and learn how to market yourself with more nuance and integrity. I’m also sharing my own personal experiences with this being prey to this marketing and shed some light on how you can be more intentional in your approach to growth and freedom.
Let’s get started! In this episode, I discuss:
- The Dominant Dogma of: “I did it, so can you!”
- How statements like this prey on vulnerability the sake of profit
- 2 of my past experiences, and the financial losses, when I invested in coaches who subscribed to this dogma
- The integrity of considering different lived experiences, identities and privileges when coaching
- 3 ways to sell and market your businesses with more integrity around this
- How you can work with me closely through this process inside my group and one-on-one coaching space
Listen to the episode wherever you like to listen to your podcasts.
Today I am writing to you from my front porch swing. I have a soft white blanket wrapped around my legs to keep me warm as the temperature is still rising for the day. I also have a thermos of matcha is on the little table next to me, and cars are driving past as folks are heading off to begin their day. Additionally, due to the louder noise, I have my headphones in while I’m listening to a calming playlist of french acoustic music (a favorite of mine while I am reading or writing). For folks listening, you can tune into this playlist via the show notes available on megscolleen.com.
As we enter into this space, this conversation together, I invite you to take a moment and attune to your surroundings. No matter what is going on around you, or within you, simply pause. Notice the colors, the textures, the light, and the shadows. Not judging anything, just simply noticing.
Today, our focus is discussing the Dominant Dogma, “I did it, so can you!” and I’m going to warn you now, that we are largely honing in on how this is a Dominant and toxic Dogma within the coaching field specifically.
Truth be told, this Dominant Dogma boils my blood in a unique way because I believe it is one of the leading factors that has cultivated a negative perspective of coaching in mainstream culture. It’s a Dogma that is often wielded by coaches who are teaching money-making practices and how to run a small business. Much like other Dominant Dogma, this message preys off the vulnerable (i.e. those needing money and relatively fast business success) and creates a hierarchy between the seller and the purchaser, upholding power over structures and creating microcosms of domination. Coaches, often unconsciously, buy into this Dominant Dogma, sharing a message of, “I had this success, now I’m teaching you my “secret” so you can do the same!” This message is usually shared without any recognition of privilege or how most humans have wildly different journeys to success and thriving. Additionally, I see this Dominant Dogma shared most frequently by young coaches, with one to two years of business experience, who are suddenly positioning themselves as experts. self-proclaiming that they are skilled and educated enough to support businesses of all kinds rise the ranks of success (of course informed by their one year of rapid growth).
Unfortunately, despite my own experience with marketing manipulation and the business world, when I first entered the coaching and consulting field a few years back I also fell prey to this messaging. Twice in fact. I poured over $10,000 into coaches who promised they would be, “like a silent partner” helping and supporting me every step of the way. Providing new frameworks unique to my business and needs. Offering consultation and connections to launch my business forward.
I want to get more specific here because I believe this Dominant Dogma of “I did it, so can you!” can be difficult to spot at times. I know it was for me, and as a ⅗ in Human Design I have tried all the things and would love to help you spot the “red flags” that I didn’t see then, but that have now resulted in deeper awareness and the hiring of absolutely incredible coaches and team members who actually run their businesses congruently.
Let’s dive in.
One of my first business coaches had actually been in their industry for over 15 years. They had wild success, multiple business endeavors in fields including tech, e-commerce, and creative media. I deeply admired them and because of past engagement with them, as soon as their coaching offering went live, despite its high price point, I figured it out and I was IN! What I didn’t realize, is that this was their very first time ever coaching and consulting. They had taught some specific tutorials and workshops, but coaching and consulting? Never. On top of that, most of their past creations did not rely on their physical presence for training, calls, and office hours. So when it came time to be coached…I found myself listening to their voicemail. Once, twice, three times. Each time I was later told my session had not been confirmed and I needed to re-book and wait for confirmation. After 2 months of no access to calls and promised trainings that were not within the program portal I reached out to a lawyer and was, thankfully, able to get half of my money back.
Ok, let’s talk about business coach example number two.
This coach was unique in that they actually spoke directly to topics I felt passionate about: privilege in business, not using social media as your only marketing tool, marketing with soul and integrity, and the truth that business success is nuanced just like humans are nuanced. I thought I hit the jackpot! Signing on, the first few sessions were a dream! I felt supported, was offered some resources on how to get to know myself better as a business owner, but somewhere along the way…things shifted. Instead of tools and insights, I could utilize in business, the coach directed our conversation to current world events. Sessions became spaces seemingly cultivated for venting and processing. When I asked questions about business I found myself hearing the same message I heard everywhere else, “Here is my exact social media strategy, use THIS”, followed by, “take the messaging right from my sales page, it WORKS!” and so on. It became so clear to me: while their marketing shared nuance and integrity, behind the curtain was the same toxic strategy, “I did it, so can you!”
Following these experiences, four and two years later respectively, I have crafted three key tips to help you market your business with integrity (coaching or otherwise) and purchase with alignment and consent:
3 Tips To Sell & Market With Integrity:
- Ensure Alignment: With your products and/or services for both you and the customer entering the exchange.
Both of my negative business coaching experiences lacked this alignment. Neither coach crafted offerings that were aligned with what they were truly educated and experienced to offer, nor what they were prepared to provide.
As you evaluate this for yourself, notice:
- What skills and giftings do I have that give me the ability to offer this product or service?
- Who, specifically, will resonate with these skills and giftings the most?
- Am I prepared to provide these skills and giftings?
- Be Transparent: With your education, with what is provided, how much it costs, and any additional terms and expectations. Again, both of my negative coaching experiences lacked transparency in education and the details of what I would receive through our agreement. While the price was shared clearly, many other details were not: specifics on dates, times, how I should communicate, etc.
As you evaluate this for yourself, notice:
- Am I transparent about my education and experience?
- Am I clear on what my deliverables are for each of my offerings or products?
- Am I clear on my pricing and terms and conditions?
- Invite Consent: Agreement between both parties to engage in this reciprocal relationship (these are your hell yeses!). In regards to my two experiences shared today, consent was actually not present, because clear boundaries and transparency were not present. So first, check those points of 1 and 2! Additionally, I have noticed for many new small business owners, before lack of transparency becomes an issue in, spaciousness becomes an issue. What I mean is: A need for your business to provide for you before it’s ready. When this happens and you rely on your business to provide for you before it’s able, it often results in scarcity and grasping for clients to say yes. Then more you need your business to provide before it can, the easier it is to slide into misaligned offers and less than transparent marketing that provides you a paycheck.
As you evaluate this for yourself, notice:
- Am I creating a spacious invitation that allows people to say freely say, “yes” or “no”?
- How can I more deeply ground into spaciousness and consent? Many brand new small business owners actually need a part-time job or extra freelance gigs on the side in order to create spaciousness and consent within client engagement. Meet your needs outside of your business first, then as it grows give it more of the financial responsibility. This helps to remove the temptation to buy into manipulative sales tactics, misaligned offers, and a lack of transparency in your education and experience.
And that is what I want to leave you with today.
All right, I’ll see you next week!
Freedom is yours,
Mentions & More:
- Access to my Mornings Playlist (hello, French acoustic tunes!)
- I’m a ⅗ in Human Design! Learn more about your own Human Design.
- How I can support you in your own integrity through my Creative Business Accelerator: On My Terms
- An invitation to seek out my FREE Freedom Manifesto, which you can download NOW
- Send me the Dominant Dogma in your life to request I discuss it on a future episode of the podcast! Email me at email@example.com or shoot me a DM on instagram: @megscolleen
- My 1:1 coaching series. Book a FREE clarity call with me to get started: https://megscolleen.com/book-a-free-call/