The Jig is Up: How the Online Coaching Space is Shifting by the Minute

Apr 20, 2022

Online entrepreneurship, specifically the online coaching space, is changing rapidly. In short, online entrepreneurs are collectively done with manipulative tactics and false promises. The online coaching space will look dramatically different a year from now, and the coaches who make it through are going to be the ones who have the drive and commitment to their cause and who actually deliver on their promises. In other words, the coaches who are helping their clients get results.

In this episode, I talk about the online coaching industry's current situation, how we got here, and what it means for the future of online entrepreneurship. (Spoiler alert: It's ultimately a good thing.)

 In today's episode, I want to talk about how the online business space, online entrepreneurship, and the coaching business in particular is changing dramatically—by the minute, almost. Over the past few months, we have seen a lot of shifts happening, and I want to talk through why some of those shifts are occurring and what that means for the future of online business owners and online entrepreneurs. 

The online business space, one year from now, is going to look dramatically different than it does now, not even to mention what it's going to look like five or 10 years down the road. The reason I want to dive into this is so that, as online business owners, as coaches, we can be prepared for what is happening and really stay ahead of the curve, because oftentimes, that's what makes the difference between a business that really gets results and is able to grow effectively. 

I want to start with talking about the current situation of the online business space and why we are in this situation. It started several years before the pandemic but really gained traction around March 2020, when the pandemic hit, because we saw this influx of uncertainty. There was a large amount of uncertainty and insecurity happening in the world, and what a lot of people did, who either feared losing their jobs or who found themselves having lost their jobs when the pandemic hunt, was start to envision what it could look like to be an entrepreneur, and what it could look like to make their living online, when all of the sudden how they were making their living prior to that was impossible, due to shutdowns and to social distancing, and obviously, due to the economic recession that hit alongside the pandemic. 

We saw this influx of people considering and exploring what it could look like to be an entrepreneur. This goes hand in hand with coaching because that was the type of entrepreneurship that people found most attractive and low barrier and exciting at that point. So, when that happened, a lot of existing coaches and coaching programs who help entrepreneurs saw that. They noticed what was happening, and to put it bluntly, they took advantage of it. 

They played into this fear and uncertainty and promised that “Hey, you might have lost your job, or you might not know if you're going to have a job next month, but here's what you can do. You can start your own online business as a coach and make 10 times what you were making at your job anyway, so why wouldn't you?” I won't say that people fell for it because they didn't really fall for it, but they believed it. They said, “Okay, yes, I will pay you. Please help me launch this really lucrative online coaching business.” 

Then, three months later, six months later, as these people were working on building their coaching businesses, they weren't getting results. They had just spent $5,000; $10,000; $15,000 on learning how to be a coach and learning how to grow their coaching business, but they were more or less where they started by the end of these programs that promised them these great results. But they didn't get it; they didn't get the support that they actually needed. 

By the time they were finishing up their contract or package with a coach or a coaching program, they were sitting there thinking, Well, I don't know what to do now. I have spent all this time and money trying to get this business started. I'm in too deep to turn around, but I know I can't do it alone, so I need more support. So, they repeat this cycle of working with another coach or coaching program that promises them these great results, but at the end of that program, again, they are more or less where they started with their business. 

The crisis that we're seeing now is that, for so many of these new coaches, coaches that have started their business in the past two or three years, they're realizing that their business, as it is, is not sustainable. Maybe they're getting some clients; maybe they're bringing in some money, but as a whole, the business is not supporting them. Paying, basically, the bills, that's just not happening, so they're faced with this decision. They just keep going and keep going it alone because they can't find the support they need. 

They're like, Well, I'm in too deep. I’d better just keep trying to do this myself and not invest any more money in coaches or marketing agencies or anything else that's promising to help get them clients. Or should they be investing in even more support and even more coaching in marketing strategies and tactics? Obviously, that has the big if of if they can afford it. And even if they can't afford it, the question is “How do I find the support that's actually going to help me get results?” because they've already spent, at this point, $10,000; $20,000; even $30,000 on things that were going to supposedly be the big difference or make the big difference and get them where they needed to be. 

Even if they can't afford it, they're thinking, Well, I don't even know what to invest in. I don't even know what to spend money on in my business. Then, the third really grim option that they have is just to call it quits, is to say, “Okay, I've really invested. I've given this a good shot, but I'm not getting good results, and you know what? I think I just need to quit.” All of those three options, each of those three options, is equally valid and understandable. 

As a whole, in this online business space, this is what's happening right now at this very moment, as I'm talking with prospective clients almost every day. That's what I'm seeing. That's the situation I'm seeing over and over again. We're coming to this point where we are not about to experience but really are experiencing a reckoning and a major, major shift in the coaching and online business space. This is the point where, to put it bluntly, people, entrepreneurs, new coaches, online business owners are collectively done with the bullshit of marketers and business coaches who, in all honesty, have no business being business coaches. People have wised up to the manipulative tactics that are being used on them, and they are collectively just done with all of that. 

What that means is that the coaching space is transforming radically because it means that everything that everyone has been taught is no longer working. Honestly, that's for the best, right? We don't want to continue down the path that we've been on, down the path of getting people in these cycles of throwing coaches money, trying to do something to get their business results that aren't seeing any, any result at all. 

So, six months from now, a year from now, two or three years from now, the online business space—specifically, the online coaching space—is going to shrink dramatically because the people who have, honestly, been swindled are giving up. And the people who have been doing the swindling, the jig is up for them because they can't keep doing this if people are collectively not accepting it anymore, if it's not working for them anymore. 

That means that, say, a year from now, the coaches who are still around, online entrepreneurs who are still around, they're going to be the ones who really meet two criteria. They have the drive. They've had the commitment and drive to stick with it through this transition, to continue adapting. But that's not all they need. They also need to be the ones who are getting their clients results. So, a year from now, what we're going to see is this coaching industry shrink significantly, but after that winnowing down of the people who got swindled and the people who were doing the swindling, we're going to be left with the people who have the drive and the people who are getting their clients results. 

I truly believe that this transition is going to be for the best and is in everyone's best interest because people are going to find it easier to get the support they need, and the vast majority of coaches are going to be the ones who are getting people results. To me, that is a big win. At the same time, I really mourn all of the online coaches and online entrepreneurs who have had to be taken advantage of in order for us to get to this point of this massive, massive shift. I truly, truly wish that so many people didn't have to go ten of thousands, in some cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt for this shift to be able to occur. 



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