Is the Coaching Industry Overcrowded? Concerns of New Coaches in a Growing Industry

By Toku

One of the people in my mastermind shared this quote:

“The massive influx of coaches since Covid started has completely changed the rules of the game. Literally, tens of thousands of people are now calling themselves a coach who weren’t a couple of years ago.

And that figure is growing, so you’d better be ready for some hard work and to get help because otherwise, you’re wasting your time.

But it is doable if you’re utterly committed, prepared to work really hard and you’re very patient.”

Original source

They wanted to know if I thought the industry had changed because of COVID, and how much competition coaches have.

I hear statements like this every year or two…
There are so many coaches
There’s tons of people who have come into coaching
There’s a lot of coaching companies

And these statements are probably true. There are probably more coaches out there than there were a couple years ago.

The other truth is, most coaches are journeyman coaches; aka they’re mediocre at best. This is not a dig on coaches, it’s just the way the coaching industry trains people.

The ICF and the other coaching organizations train people for competence. They want to make sure people are competent. There’s nothing wrong with that, I’m actually glad they exist and have standards by which they decide where people are competent. 

But the truth is, the very best coaches will continue to remain in high demand.

The reason is that 45 minutes spent with a journeyman coach is vastly different from 45 minutes spent with a really powerful coach, who’s being, way of showing up, intention and style is truly unique.

If you are simply running life wheels, 360 reviews, and using basic accountability, it’s going to keep getting harder and harder. That part of the market is going to get commodified, just like everything else… a journeyman massage therapist, lawyer, tattoo artist, etc.

If you’re at the level of a journeyman, you’re always going to struggle.  It doesn’t matter which profession you’re in. Maybe there was a time where you could just show up and do a life wheel and people were blown away by it.

But again the best coaches will and always will remain in high demand.

Most journeyman coaches don’t realize that they are journeyman coaches. They don’t know what they’re doing, but they always think they’re doing what’s necessary or whatever is required, they’re going through the motions.

If you realize you’re that kind of coach, great! You have an opportunity to change.

If you’re a great coach and are working really hard to be a great coach, you should not ask yourself “Am I any good?” which is the question of the journeyman coach. Rather, you should be asking yourself , “how good can I get? How can I show up and take the decisive action? How can I get the very best teachers and trainers? How can I do the work on myself to show up powerfully, day in and day out for my client so I’m unconditionally believing in their possibility?” 

Quotes like this, which was probably pulled from a marketing website, are all designed to act on fear so you go “oh no I’m not going to get clients, I better sign up for this program”.

I don’t sell that way, the best coaches I know don’t sell that way.

The thing I build my mastermind on, the thing I sell to my clients is not just-enough coaching, it’s the very best coaching I can offer. I leave everything on the mat with my clients. In my mastermind, the time we spend together is a launching point for them to go and multiply whatever their investment is. It’s not because I want them to become “pretty good”. It’s because  I want them to become the very best coach they possibly can be.

So long story short, if you’re just trying to do the bare minimum and get by, you don’t want to transform your relationship to time, money, clients, and your own work, then yes you will struggle.

That’s how most coaches are. They struggle.

But if you’re willing to take that extra step, to truly transform how you show up to your coaching practice, how you show up to your clients, to truly transform the way you relate to your business and your life, you’re going to be fine.

That’s the work of great coaching. That’s the work of changing people’s lives. That’s why most people actually get into coaching in the first place.

So if that’s where you are and that’s where your focus is and you can find good teachers, you’re going to be just fine. Don’t worry about the coaching industry being too crowded.

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