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13 How are you growing your business?


How are you building your practice? You see, the coaching, consulting and professional advice industries have traditionally been built on two ways of getting clients. And I think BOTH of those models are broken.

The first is what I call the “Journeyman” model. In mediaeval England a “journeyman” was a craftsman who was just starting out on their career and wanted to become a member of a guild. So the guild told them “study hard, practice – for free if necessary – take our exams and one day you can be qualified (accredited, or certified, or chartered, or whatever the guild wanted to call it) THEN clients will hire you because we’ve told them you are worthy to be a member of the profession”.

So the journeyman worked hard, practiced (often doing work for free just to get the experience), sat the many professional tests, and one day they got their professional certificate, complete with gold letters, a wax seal, and letters to put after their name. But no clients came.

So the newly qualified journeyman went back to the school that trained them to find out how to get clients. “Get some business cards, and put the letters after your name. Then get some brochures printed with our crest on. THEN clients will come.” So the journeyman got business cards, and brochures, and went to network breakfasts. And lunches. And conferences. They asked craftsmen in other trades if they would put their brochures and business cards on display in their shop. And they did MORE free work, in the hope that people would be overcome with gratitude and hire them, or else send them more clients.

With little variation, it’s the model still recommended by about 90% of training schools, whether you’re training to be a coach, therapist, accountant or lawyer…

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