Uncomfortable truth: coaching is boring.
I’m not saying it’s not useful, and at times quite powerful.
But most people trained as coaches don’t know what it is they actually do – because coaching is a method. It’s not the actual substance of your work.
To put it in the words of my teacher Fabeku: coaching isn’t what you do. It’s only how you do it.
So most people trained as coaches don’t know how to present their actual mojo, their genuine and distinct-to-them gifts and benefits.
They just say “I’m a life coach,” using the same bland, broad language that so many others do.
Because people have heard that a hundred thousand times now, it doesn’t land with anyone.
It doesn’t mean anything.
There’s no aliveness, no dimensionality in it – it feels like a mass-market cloned product, because that’s what it has become, unfortunately.
The usual answer to this is “niche” and I’m here to tell you that doesn’t work either.
Niches are simply a refinement of the how-not-what, so at times they are useful – but they’re still not WHAT you do.
Much of why I’ve stayed with archetypal astrology for 30+ years is because of its specificity, the way it paints an absolutely distinct and unmistakable picture of a person’s core nature with all its complexity and nuance.
That includes the way someone is set up to be “on the public stage” and bring their mojo, their particular way-of-being to their work in the world.
And by this I don’t mean a “job description” or a prescriptive form of the work, but the essence, the key qualities that this person will always bring, even if they are inflected differently by different forms.
There can be commonalities, the same way that many paintings are painted with shades of yellow – and no painting is the same, even if it’s painted from literally the same bottle of pigment.
Getting to this essence-of-self – to the core qualities that want to express in a particular person, in a particular facet of their lives – gives people a pathway that is theirs, distinct and fascinating, challenging and yet somehow familiar.
This is the emphatic opposite of any approach, like coaching, that only equips people with the same sets of tools, the same marketing rhetoric, the same business strategy, and sends them into the world like a clone army.
This isn’t about hating on coaching – I’m coach-trained and appreciate my training deeply, and I see a lot of other people with coach training working hard to do good for many people in the world.
But it has long been held up as the definitive option, outside of lengthy, expensive, and constraining formal therapeutic licensure, for working with people to help them.
After twenty-five years of that, it really has become boring – and a lot of that is from the repetition, the cloning, the hundreds of thousands of people all trying to offer themselves to the world in the same way.
The work I do, and now what I’m teaching at The Paradox School, runs vigorously in the other direction.
This means that YOU will discover that uniqueness for yourself, for your own work – you will learn how to work in the way that YOU are made, which isn’t like anyone else.
Having other training folds into this perfectly, and most people in the School do have other training of some sort - perhaps several trainings.
The difference is that no one has helped you see which parts of that training really fit YOU, and in what ways, and which parts can be set aside as not resonant with your nature.
And then, of course, you’ll be able to do that with and for others in turn.
Because you will be working with THEIR distinct nature, you will understand what methodologies and approaches are likely to be most effective for them, and where you can and need to meet their style, their values, for the work to be effective.
If my experience, and what I’m seeing through my students’ eyes this year, is at all accurate, that is anything BUT boring.
People are increasingly tired of being commodities – of being lumped together and crammed into systems that treat them all the same, and when they don’t get the experience or results they expected, they get blamed.
There’s very little that’s more respectful of a client than shaping your approach around their unique nature – and people are fascinated and deeply intrigued by it.
There are also SO many different ways to weave this awareness into showing up in the world – many people don’t want, and aren’t geared toward, a conventional 1:1 or even group practice, and that’s awesome.
But if your work involves other human people at all, the archetypal lens on human nature will make your work deeper, richer, more substantive, and ultimately more effective.