Most People Don’t Need a Coach — How About You?

Ok, I admit it. I have a Google Alert set up for my name, Brad Swift. It’s not just ego that set it up (though I suppose there is some ego mixed in here. ). I learn interesting things from it, like who’s writing about me on the web. For example, this morning I learned from a Google Alert that Personal Development Guru (and I use that descriptive respectfully) Steve Pavlina had read my book, Life On Purpose, by using a technique known as PhotoReading.

He wrote a positive, and accurate book review in that it was clear to me when the review came out that he’d read the book. Check it out. I think you’ll find the reading methodology fascinating and his comments about what he gleaned from the book are interesting as well. Click Here to learn more.

And if you’re an experienced coach, don’t miss the Being a Masterful Life Purpose Teleclass announcement, part of the launching of our new Seasoned Coaches Development Program. If you have a desire to make a greater and more lasting difference with your clients, and in the process turn them into ‘raving fans’ that refer more A+ clients to you, you’ll want to attend this teleclass. Register Here.

Speaking of coaching, I have a provocative perspective to explore this week:

LIVING ON PURPOSE: Most People Don’t Need a Coach

I have found that my perspective on coaching differs from many of my colleagues who say that just about everyone could benefit from having a coach in their life.

I don’t agree. In fact, I believe most people don’t really need, want or can benefit from coaching.


You see, coaching works most effectively when people are really up to something big in their life, business or both. Like really up to something. Transforming their life and those around them. Making a significant
contribution to their community, maybe even the world.

And most people, sad to say, just aren’t up to much in their life.

Pick Up Game or World Class Tournament

Everyone knows how popular coaching is in sports. But not everyone who plays a sport needs, want or could really benefit from having a coach on their sideline.

Let’s say you want to play a pickup game of tennis with your next-door neighbor. Do you really need a coach for that? Of course not. Just pick up a new can of tennis balls and go have some fun.

But, on the other hand if you’re really up for playing, competing and perhaps winning at a major tournament, say Wimbledon or something similar, does it make sense to have a coach?

You better believe it, ’cause everyone else you play against is going to have at least one coach, if not more. Why? Because the gap between where most tennis players start and the level of world class tennis is pretty

Have I overstated my perspective and position? Well, yes, perhaps…just a little. You see, there is another group of people that I need to account for.

Creating a Gap with Coaching

There is at least one exception to this idea that people who aren’t really up to much in their life won’t benefit from a coach enough to make it worth their while.

That exception are people who want to be up to more in their life but just don’t know what that would look like or how they’d take on a bigger game.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your perspective, there are a significant number of people that fall into that group. Many people have ‘dreams machines’ that are on the fritz. They’ve either been so beaten down by life or lulled to sleep by the Great American Dream (which has really evolved into the Great Western World Dream), that they’ve quit hoping for a greater…well, anything.

“Just get me through the week with a minimum of trouble, so I can get to the weekend and chill out,” seems to be the battle cry of many people.

And yet…there are moments when the veil of illusion and complacency lifts, even if just a little…and that’s when a coach can make a huge difference in our lives.

When the Student is Ready the Coach will Appear

I remember it as though it was yesterday. This young woman was sitting across from me in her business suit, with a special gleam in her eye, and a special something about her that I couldn’t quite put my finger on but that I found attractive in a strange, non-sexual way.

Her name was Judy, and she would soon become my first coach, but not for a few more minutes. Not until her smile suddenly disappeared and she grew serious. Staring me in the eyes, she asked, “Dr. Swift, do you want to continue to practice veterinary medicine?”

What a question. No one, including myself had ever asked me such a question, not since I first dreamed of becoming a vet when I was seven years old. And here I was in my mid-thirties, having practiced medicine for over 12 years, and suddenly I knew the answer to her question and was surprised by it.

“No, I don’t,” I replied as I felt the tears well up in my eyes, “But I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished what I’d set out to do in my practice. And I don’t see how I can accomplish it at this point, but if I left now, it would be like I’d snuck out the back door.”

I paused again. “And I don’t want that,” I continued as I squared my shoulders. “I want to go out the top in my profession. Can you help me do that?”

It’s Not a Dress Rehearsal

Most everyone has heard the old saying — “Life isn’t a dress rehearsal,” at least as far as we know. I believe we’re here to dream great dreams and to bring as many of them into reality as possible.

And the paradoxical thing is that it’s really not about whether we accomplish all our great dreams or not. Just playing full out in life makes all the difference in the world.

So, I amend my first statement. Many people can utilize the services of a coach, whether it be to help them turn their dream machine back on or to really bring those dreams into reality.

But how do you get the most value from a coaching experience? It’s a worthwhile question to consider, because neither of you want to have the coaching experience be a waste of time.

Having not only been a coach for over 2 decades (does that make me sound old, or what? ), but also having been in numerous coaching relationships during much of that time, I have prepared a special report on just that question entitled:

Twelve Ways to Get Ten Times the Value from Calls with Your Coach

It’s my pleasure to offer this report to you with my compliments. Simply send an email.

I’d also love to hear your experiences with coaching, positive or negative or some of both. And if you have your own suggestion on how to receive the most value from coaching, let me know. Maybe we can create another top 12 list.


What do you think of this article? Was it valuable? Does it raise more questions for you? Post your questions and/or comments here. I’d love to hear from you.