Is Life Coaching a Scam or Legit? Confessions of a Former Life Coach

With famous celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Hugh Jackman, and Oprah Winfrey espousing the benefits of life coaching, it’s no surprise that so many people are hopping on the coaching bandwagon and hiring expert coaches to take them to the next level.

But if you’ve ever thought about hiring a life coach to help you accelerate your results and achieve the success you desire, then one thought has inevitably popped into your head…

Is life coaching legit? Aren’t life coaches all a scam? 

I mean, let’s just be real…

Is anyone really qualified to coach you on the game of life?

With the abundance of get-rich quick schemes, unqualified gurus, “motivation coaches”, and blatant charlatans proliferating the modern market, it can be hard to discern a legitimate enterprise from a shady money-making fraud.

So today, I’m going to set the record straight.

After hiring and firing dozens of coaches and building a successful coaching company myself, I’ve realized that there are countless misconceptions about life coaches, both good and bad.

So in this short article, I’m going to dive into the most common myths and misunderstandings about the life coaching industry so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not coaching is right for you.

Let’s dive in.

The Most Common Myth About Life Coaches Debunked

The first and most pervasive myth about the life coaching industry is this…

A life coach is someone who is supposed to tell you how to live your life because they are more enlightened and better than you are. 

… This simply isn’t the case.

Think about it this way:

Michael Jordan had dozens of coaches over the course of his career, but none of them were better at the game of basketball than he was.

Connor McGregor has trained with countless martial arts and fitness coaches over the course of his career, but none of them would last more than a few minutes against him in the Octagon.

Tiger Woods has worked with legendary golf coaches since he was a child, but few, if any of them, could outperform him on the course.

So why in the world did these individuals hire people who are seemingly “unqualified” to coach them?

Because the purpose of a coach isn’t to find someone who is better than you.

It’s to work with someone who understands the “game” that you are playing, who can identify your blind spots, and prescribe specific strategies to accelerate your performance in your specific field.

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Life coaches are no different.

Every person holds limiting beliefs mentally and physically about what they can and cannot accomplish. By breaking the limiting belief, you set yourself free to get to the next level.

It’s kind of like a performance tune on a sports car. By simply reprogramming the computer of the car it allows the car to go faster and longer distances.

Working with a life coach isn’t about finding some spiritual life coach guru who knows everything and can tell you how to live your life.

It’s about finding someone who has the knowledge and skillset to help you analyze where you, figure out where you want to be, and help you bridge the gap between those two places using proven strategies that have worked for 100s if not 1000s of clients before.

A life coach doesn’t need to be smarter, richer, or more successful than you are.

They simply need to have the experience and skillset required to ask the right questions, identify the limiting beliefs and habits that are holding you back from your goals, and then help you break those false beliefs and bad habits.

That’s it.

What Does a Life Coach Do? Life Coaching Vs. Traditional Therapy

A common misconception about life coaching is that it’s similar to therapy or psychoanalysis.

This is far from the case…

Therapy is focused on your past.

It’s focused on identifying key events and behaviors from your childhood and early adulthood that are sabotaging your current success.

It’s designed to help you figure out why you are not working effectively, which is important and necessary.

However, it’s not designed to take you to the next level.

It’s kind of like taking you from -10 to 0 where 0 is the baseline. So the best you can ever get with traditional therapy is average, whereas life coaching is designed to take you from 0 to 10 aka thriving. Get it?

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Traditional therapy serves a very important role, but only for a certain period of time. After that, it’s time to move on and build the future. Otherwise you’ll be trapped rehearsing past events for years.

At the end of it all your results in life are still the same.

Think about this it this way:

  • Traditional therapy = healing the past.
  • Life coaches = create an amazing future.

A good life coach will help you identify the invisible scripts and stories from your past that are controlling your present. but they will also help you use those very same traumatic scripts and stories as fuel to create a more inspiring and empowering future.

At the end of the day, the question, “What does a life coach do” has a simple answer:

Life coaches will help you go from where you are now to where you want to be.

They don’t spend years on the events of the past and the traumas that have shaped your life. Living in your past is no way to live. And according to Eastern philosophy, it is actually a form of suffering.

A better solution is to, of course, acknowledge past hurts, forgive, get the lessons, and most importantly, move on.

They simply recognize the role that they play in your life so that you can move forward to something even better and more exciting.

The Real Scam of the Life Coaching Industry

Make no mistake.

There is a genuine scam in the life-coaching industry. However, every industry has scams including the largest financial institutions in the world, that we all trusted (think the real estate crash of 2008 with Bernie Madoff or Enron).

But it’s not what you might expect…

The real scam in the life coaching industry is not the fake gurus and b.s. practitioners (although there are plenty of those, as we will talk about later).

The real scam of the life coaching industry is the clients who believe that simply cutting a check and talking to someone for 30 minutes a week will change their lives and transform their results simply because they have paid and started.

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It’s kind of like buying a nice suit and thinking that women are going to flock to you because you look sharp. It sure does help, but it’s not everything.

As someone who runs a successful life coaching business, I’ve seen this play out many times.

Men all over the world have paid good money to work with an experienced coach only to quit 2 months into their program because they aren’t getting the results they want.

But when you pull back the curtains and take a look at their actions, you will quickly realize that the reason for their lack of results has nothing to do with their life coaches or the industry.

… It’s due to their lack of inaction and responsibility.

Here’s a simple but uncomfortable fact that you must accept before hiring a coach.

Nothing in your life will change unless you do! 

You can spend $1,000,000 a year to have the world-famous, Tony Robbins show up at your house and coach you.

You can go 6-figures into debt to work with the best motivational coaches in the world. Individuals who have a proven track record of success with thousands of individuals.

But this simply isn’t enough, and here’s why…

If you don’t show up to your coaching calls each week with a willingness to be present, learn, and take action, nothing will ever change.

The best strategies, tactics, and resources will do NOTHING unless you are willing to take action and apply them – consistently.

The right coach will give you what you need to succeed.

They will help you identify the ways that you are sabotaging your success and give you the solution you need to move forward.

But if you don’t take action on what they share with you and commit to implementing everything you learn, your results will never change and you will end up worse off than you were before the coaching began and blame it all on the coach.

It’s kind of like when a student goes to college then complains after graduating that they can’t get a job whereas their peers are landing great jobs. Is it the universities fault or the student’s lack of drive and persistence?

This is the true scam of the life coaching industry.

I’ve seen committed clients working with a subpar coach who were able to 10X their results in a matter of months. It is very real.

I’ve also seen lazy clients work with the best coaches in the industry for years without ever moving the needle forward or getting any real results in their lives.

So the choice is yours…

Take action, play hard and achieve your dreams.

Or forever stay stuck in the land of mediocrity, comfort and Netflix marathons.

Why Life Coaches Work: The Hidden Value of Coaching that Most People Miss

I once spent $6,000 on 3 hours of sales coaching.

Yes, that is $2,000 per hour.

At the time, this was the most I had ever spent on coaching or consulting, and I struggled to pull the trigger and make it happen. I literally couldn’t sleep at night when I agreed to that price.

But I knew that if I learned even one strategy to increase my sales and improve my business, it would be worth it.

I hopped on a call with my sales coach, took pages upon pages of notes, and then immediately applied what he’d taught me like a madman.

Within 3 months, I earned $25,000.

Within 12 months, I earned more than $300,000 in new business and more than tripled my revenue from the prior year, not to mention the amount of confidence I gained from achieving this that would carry over into the next year.

Today, more than 3 years after that fateful afternoon, I’m still reaping the benefits of that $6,000 investment, and I’ve used the same strategies I learned to train my team who are now implementing those very same strategies.

And this is where the true power of life coaching lies.

Imagine if you worked with a coach who was able to give you a strategy that would help you improve your craft by just 1% a day.

Over the course of one year, this would compound to an increase of more than 365%.

To put that into financial terms, this is the difference between earning $100,000 a year and earning $365,000/year.

Not a shabby number is it?

If you were to work with a life coach who gave you only one strategy that helped you increase your productivity by a mere 10%, this would save you more than 212 hours a year!

When you extend that number out over the decade, your 3 months of coaching has resulted in more than 2,120 hours of free time added back to your life to spend time doing things that you enjoy, which adds even more value to your life!

Imagine that…

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When you take the time to consider the long-term effects of life coaching, not just the immediate benefits, you will quickly realize that even one small improvement can result in huge rewards over the long term.

Whether it’s improving your productivity and gaining more time to spend with your family, increasing your income by 10 or 20%, improving your relationship with your significant other by a small fraction, or simply improving your energy levels by a few percentage points, these small changes can have a huge impact over time.

And that’s where the true power of coaching lies.

When your coach helps you make one small change, that change can quite literally transform your life over time.

And if you work with the right coach, you can make massive changes in a small amount of time that will lead to unparalleled success and performance over the long haul.

But Life Coaching is So Expensive!

A common objection to life coaching and the coaching industry, in general, is that it’s so darn expensive!

And I get it…

With many life coaches charging more than $500+ an hour for their services, it can seem like a steep investment.

Heck, it can often seem like an unnecessary investment when you have too many bills as it is. I get it.

But think about what it’s costing you not to have a coach…

Imagine these two short scenarios to see what I mean.

Enter Steve and Dave, who are considering life coaching. Both men are earning about $60,000 a year, struggling in their marriages, and carrying around 20 lbs. of unwanted body fat.

Neither man has the financial means to comfortably afford the $700 a month life coaching package without taking out a loan or significantly cutting back on their expenses.

Steve thinks that coaching is a scam and so he decides to continue doing the same things he’s been doing for years and he’ll eventually figure it out on his own.

Dave, on the other hand, sees the value in coaching and although hesitant decides to hire a coach and give it a shot. He realizes that what he has been doing simply isn’t working and remembers the old Einstein saying “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”.

At first, nothing changes for Steve or Dave.

Their results are more or less the same and when Steve looks at his friend’s life, he thinks he made the right choice and that his friend got ripped off.

However, over the following months, Dave starts to implement small changes into his life based on what his coach recommends.

He starts doing morning routines, showing up to the office 30 minutes earlier, using proven productivity techniques to get more done, and taking his wife on a weekly adventures and building a deeper connection with her.

The results aren’t obvious at first.

To the outside viewer, it would look like both men are still, more or less, at the same place in life.

However, as the small changes that Dave has made compound over the year, the truth becomes more apparent.

Dave loses all of the unwanted weight he’d been carrying around and, as a result, has more energy, enthusiasm, and confidence in his career and marriage.

The effects of this change lead to a promotion at work and a 15% increase in his salary.

Per his coaches recommendation to follow his passion, he uses the extra money to fund a side hustle where he helps other people achieve their weight loss goals through a monthly membership site.

In time the side hustle takes off and he adds an additional $3,000 a month in recurring revenue.

The extra money that he’s earned allows him to spend more time with his wife and finally take the vacation that they’d been wanting to take for years.

After 12 months of coaching, Dave’s life looks completely different from what it was before.

Dave has transformed his marriage, increased his income beyond 6-figures, is in the best shape of his life and most importantly is happy and alive.

Steve, on the other hand, made no changes and has fallen into a downward spiral of no results or success which is a breeding ground for depression.

His career continued just as it was before, his marriage continued to deteriorate and his wife is now speaking with lawyers about divorce, and instead of losing the spare tire he’d been lugging around for years, he gains an additional 15 lbs. of unwanted fat.

What’s interesting here is if you project out their lives not just 1 year but 10 years. You would see an enormous compound investment from the coaching and see two entirely different lives. You would never have guessed that at one point Steve and Dave’s lives were identical.

Now, let me ask you…

Which man ended up paying more?

Dave who spent $12,000 on life coaching?

Or Steve who continued to underperform and backslide on his goals and dreams?

I think the answer is obvious.

Yes, life coaching is expensive.


But it’s less expensive than spinning your wheels and using outdated strategies to try and move your life forward.

It’s less expensive than a divorce, medical bills, years of suffering through a miserable job that doesn’t pay you what you’re worth and losing finite time that you’ll never get back.

So the choice is yours.

You can invest in yourself now and make the sacrifices that need to be made to secure a bright future.

Or you can do what you’ve been doing for years and continue to get the same lackluster results.

How Do I Find a Life Coach to Work With?

So now the question remains if life coaching isn’t a scam, who should I hire to coach me?

This is where things get tricky…

Just because the life coaching industry in and of itself is not a scam, this doesn’t mean that every life coach on the market is worth your time or money.

As a general rule, if you are a man, work with a men’s coach who has a proven track record of success, more than 1,000 hours of coaching, and at least 100 past clients.

I would also encourage you to avoid people who market themselves as “spiritual life coaches” and “motivation coaches”. In my experience, people who label themselves like this tend to prescribe pseudoscientific nonsense and you’ll end up wasting thousands of dollars to have spiritual life coaches read your “astric chart”.

You should also be sure to talk to your life coach’s previous clients to determine whether or not they are a good fit for you.

At Knowledge for Men, we offer some of the best and most affordable coaching in the industry.

Our team of highly trained coaches have worked with individuals ranging from Navy Admirals, special forces soldiers, multi-millionaires, and presidents of 9-figure companies all the way to high school teachers and everything in between.

We have coaches specializing in several different disciplines with a wide variety of experience and expertise.

And although I’m a little (ok, a LOT) biased towards the coaches that I’ve hired and trained here at Knowledge for Men, the purpose of this article isn’t to convince you to work with us.

It’s to convince you of the validity of the life coaching industry and encourage you to work with a coach who has experience that’s specifically tailored to your needs.

So take this article as your invitation to level up your life.

To step up, make the commitment, and work with someone who can accelerate your results in every area of your life.

The time to hide and play small has passed.

It’s time to rise up and stand for your greatness.

There’s a sleeping giant inside of you waiting to wake you up.

You just need to ask for help.

Your wildest dreams and ambitions await.

Do you want my help?

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