Materia Gratis: Articles

Meet the 7 Strugglers

by T. Falcon Napier

Over the course of the past 30 years, we’ve watched hundreds upon hundreds of talented coaches, trainers and consultants struggle in their attempts to build profitable professional practices — and many of them fail.

On the surface, the vast majority of them seemed very well equipped to succeed.  Great backgrounds. Great connections. Great skills. But it just didn’t come together for them. Why?

We’ve selected seven actual people who each represent a different pattern of backgrounds, beliefs and behaviors shared by many professionals that undermine their success in the human development industry.

Which of the Seven Strugglers do you relate to?

The Helper — Frank T. just wants to help people. He’s all about serving the greater good, paying it forward and tapping into his prosperity consciousness. He also needs to make a living, so he’s been working another job while he’s building his business. That’s how it’s been for the past 5 years — and he’s no closer to leaving now than he was at the very beginning.

The Complete Package — You’d think with her background, her success would be guaranteed — she certainly did! Cathleen R. is a very well-educated, very well-trained coach in a major US city.  She has a solid background as a senior level manager in the corporate world, she’s well-known, well-connected and well-respected. She’s also not very busy.

The Marketer — Richard L. has always felt that the key to success was effective marketing — and he’s spent a small fortune seeking out the guidance of marketing gurus, website developers, social media experts and internet marketing consultants. He’s got a beautiful website and a mailing list that most would envy — and it’s all doing exactly what it’s supposed to be doing … bringing him qualified prospects each and every week. Unfortunately, he just can’t seem to convert very many of them into the clients he needs to pay all of those marketing bills.

The Giver — Susan G. is the kind of coach everyone just adores. She’s easy to talk to, intuitive and exceptional in the quality of work she does. Everyone she coaches lavishes her with acknowledgement and appreciation — and they’ve referred many of their friends and colleagues to her as well. She believes that demonstrating her coaching skills is the best way for her to show her prospects the value of her services — and they invariably tell her how much she has helped them. So why do the majority of them choose against hiring her as their coach?

The Contract Worker — With a Ph.D. from a prestigious university, an officer’s position in his target industry’s largest association and several publications under his belt, Lowell B. should have all the business he can handle.  But he doesn’t. In fact, the majority of his clients have been assigned to him by a couple of consulting firms that use him on a contract basis for a fraction of the fee they charge their clients. He knows what he’s worth – he just doesn’t believe he can close the deals himself.

The Quiet One — Stephanie S. got her consulting practice off to a decent start. Tapping into her existing relationships, she found herself getting hired for a few long-term projects rather quickly. Once those projects were done though, she was done as well — “unemployed” with few possibilities on the horizon. She knows she did a great job for her clients and felt the quality of her work spoke for itself — but they haven’t given her another project or pointed her in the direction of a new opportunity.

The Hesitant Expert — It’s a whole new world for John J. After more than 30 years in his career as a senior manager in a large corporation, he decided he’d had enough and wanted to try something he’d always thought he’d be good at — consulting. While he knew that the clients he wanted to work with were other senior managers in his industry, he thought he should wait until he had a “proven track record of success” as a consultant to go after those prospects. So he’s been “paying his dues” with small business owners for the past few years who are thrilled to have someone with his background. John’s not so thrilled.

So what’s their problem?

All seven Strugglers share one thing in common. They have placed their emphasis on the “contributing factors” rather than the “critical factors” for success.

Contributing factors are assets that support you on your quest — but in and of themselves, guarantee nothing.  An Ivy League education, extensive professional connections, strong marketing efforts and a passionate desire to be of service are great things to have — but even with ALL of them working on your behalf, you could still fail.

Critical factors are assets that serve as actual causes of the effects you desire, such as the ability to effectively present yourself in a compelling way — and get your prospects to actually hire you.

To put it more directly, STRUGGLERS can’t SELL.

Show me a successful coach, trainer or consultant and I will show you someone who is both skilled at and comfortable with selling him/herself. Someone who understands that all of the contributing factors in the world won’t make a bit of difference if the sales conversation isn’t handled properly. In fact, the industry has many professionals with relatively WEAK contributing factors who still find great success simply because they CAN sell.

What should you do?

First, own up to the truth of your personal struggle with selling.

Second, ask yourself two questions:

1)  Do you have the sales skills you need?

2)  Are you comfortable using them?

Third, improve yourself NOW. We’ve identified 31 specific strategies, skills and behaviors central to your success at selling your services effectively and comfortably — and have developed the MasterStream® Essentials program to address them all.


If you would like to share this article with others, please use this link:

If you would like to re-publish this article on another website, please contact us.