My #1 Passion: Coach Training

This bright young woman had just learned about breaking free of shame. And, seeing a college girl transformed before our eyes — when her wish was that we all jump in the pool with her (fully clothed!), no one resisted!

Yep! Sixteen of us who were in Coach Training together jumped in and celebrated the transformation we had just witnessed!

That was a number of years ago, but this week I was asked an interesting question.

“So you mean to tell me if you had the choice of going on a cruise or doing 1Training… That you would actually choose Coach Training?”

“Absolutely!” I replied.

“Have you lost your mind?” was the reaction. And it made me chuckle. But a quick review in my mind of what happens in my Coach Training program left no question. My answer was correct!  What happens in Coach Training lines up with what my heart tells me I should be doing.

His line of questioning was quite interesting. By the end of our conversation, I had to agree when he said that I should write about this!

Here were the questions he asked that I will answer here this week:

1. Why are you so passionate about it?

2. What is the difference between Coaching and counseling?

3. Who usually shows up for these trainings? 

4. What is different about your Coach Training from other Coaching programs?

5. Do you follow up to see what happens with the people who go through your course?

It was really interesting to me to have this conversation with someone unfamiliar with what I do. I’m so passionate, and it is such a part of me that questions like these rarely come to mind.

Let me dive in and jam with you on some of the responses I gave him that he found interesting. 

1. Why am I so passionate about training Coaches?

The answer is the same whether I’m training health Coaches, executive Coaches, life Coaches, or relationship Coaches.

My short answer is that I am passionate about this because the results are literally life-altering and transformational! 

I am a big believer that you cannot guide people to places you have never been. Therefore we dive in to learn about ourselves first. Then we prepare to guide others to becoming their very best and accomplishing all they were created to do.

What’s behind that passion is this: I love what I do, and I will continue guiding people to their purpose, their power, and a fulfilled life. But I also learned years ago that if I only use my gifts to teach one-on-one, the number of people I can teach is severely limited.

For years I worked 12-hour days, seven days a week. This created a great income.  But it did not allow me to fulfill my key interest. My key interest was seeing more and more people transformed.

It was actually many years ago, sitting in a network marketing meeting being conducted by one of my most respected and best friends, Sam Caster, that I caught the vision. 

Keep in mind that I always do my homework. So before this meeting, I had already studied relentlessly. I had trained with masters, read dozens of books, listened to dozens of recorded trainings. I had already combined all that with what I learned in my doctoral program in counseling in marriage and family therapy. I had already put together a very unique program that I have used for years in both my treatment centers and with my clients. To this day, I continue to refine it.

But, in that meeting that day with Sam, the most important piece came to me: I could train other people to do what I do! And, if each person I trained influenced 10 to 20 people in their family, their job, and in their volunteer work—my influence would spread much more quickly.

I thought to myself, “I wonder if anyone would be interested?” I decided to find out. So it was back in the late 80s that I put together a little brochure and sent it out to my very small mailing list. I was actually quite surprised that within two weeks, I had more than a dozen people registered. That program was 2 1/2 days. Now my program is 100 hours.

There are exhausting days in preparation for each training session. But I approach each training class with passion. Because I know that among the attendees will be people that I would otherwise never meet. And that I could touch their lives, and many lives around them. All as a result of what happens in a 100-hour program over six weeks.

You might be surprised to learn that lifelong friendships and connections are formed in those six weeks. Watching the miracles that become a reality for others over the years drives my passion. More people trained equals more lives transformed.

That process is my life’s mission and purpose.

2. What is the difference between Coaching and counseling?

The shortest answer it this: there are things that counselors do that Coaches cannot and should not do. For example, Coaches are not prepared to do any diagnostic work whatsoever. In addition, counselors can testify as expert witnesses in court cases. 

Counselors can hold themselves out to the public as “counselors.” Counselors have strict ethical guidelines that must be followed. We teach our Coaches similar guidelines, and stress their importance. But as an unregulated industry, I strongly encourage everyone to thoroughly research a coach’s training and experience prior to engaging them.

In layman’s terms, I would say that the general approach of counselors is, “I will assist you.“ And the general approach of Coaches is, “Let’s get this done!“

There is value in both!

One research article Indicated that the fee to engage Coaches is higher. But the overall amount spent was about the same. This indicates that Coaching tends to get things done quicker.

Think about it from the perspective of sports Coaching. There is a desired outcome that everyone is clear about, and the coach does everything possible to get to that desired outcome as quickly as possible!

3. Who usually shows up for these trainings? 

That was an interesting question. I’ve recently been researching this issue with my business coach. From my years of conducting this training, the most common trait of attendees is that they all have the same attitude and goals: they want to become their very best, live their purpose, and influence others toward their own greatness.

You might assume that most people come to become “certified” so that they can “hang up a shingle“ as a coach.

The evidence is to the contrary: only about 25 to 30% of my trained Coaches actually hang out a shingle. Those that do are usually quite successful.

But, most interesting to me was what the results were for the other 70 to 75%? Who were these individuals?  They were:

Business owners

C-level executives

Authors, writers, speakers


Healthcare professionals

Psychologists and counselors


People in ministry

Homeschool Mom’s

Retirees wanting to make a difference and leave a legacy

Of course, there are others. But you get the idea.

There’s another group that I referred to in the opening story: the college student who landed us all, fully dressed, in the pool!

Her enthusiasm comes from those who deeply desire healing, transformation and growth. I knew this amazing gal because her parents had attended my signature program, “Power of Purpose.“ She had struggled with eating disorders and other challenges. The parents had received a referral for her for a $50,000 treatment center to help her. (By the way it’s a great treatment center and one that I highly recommend.)

They had heard about my training. And of course the cost is a fraction of the cost of the $50,000 treatment center. So they ask me if I would consider allowing her in the program to see if it might help her.

After interviewing her and finding her mature enough, I allowed her to attend.

She left the training a very different young woman. Years later, she has been remarkably influential. She has a wonderful family of her own now. I think one of the most surprising things to most people who attend is how personally transforming it is for them.

So the youngest person I’ve ever had in the full training was 16, and the oldest someone in their mid-80s. Typically there are roughly equal numbers of men and women, but I would say that through the years about 60% of my graduates have been men.

It’s always an interesting mix of cultures, ages, professions, and levels of accomplishment and growth. But 100% of the time, there is a wonderful melding of hearts and friendships!

4. What is different about your Coach Training program compared to others?

If you asked my graduates that question, I think you would get a unanimous response: “The food!“ Yes, we prepare homemade meals for the in-person classes. And the food is excellent. But, far more than that, the food becomes symbolic of personal time spent together. The enormous benefit of the time together cannot be overstated. (Plus, all those in the training mention that the meals provide a terrific break from the intensity of the teaching!)

Further, I think a key element that makes my program different is the way I deliver the teaching.

My method is to first teach a “concept.” Then I ask for volunteers to help demonstrate that concept. Although no one is required to share anything personal, they do have the opportunity for some free Coaching as a volunteer. I always have “volunteer clients” in attendance that would gladly help to demonstrate a concept. After all, they get terrific, free one-on-one Coaching in the process!

So far, through the years, I’ve never needed to pull in one of those volunteers.

Very quickly, the students see the powerful changes in the volunteer. They become nervously eager to have their moment in the “hot seat” as the focus of the teaching. After learning the concept and seeing that concept demonstrated, the third step is to break into small groups and practice with one another. (Once again, no one is required to share personal information, and I always have ready and eager volunteers from outside the group.)

The final step is that each concept is practiced outside of the course with students using their own volunteers. Each volunteer then fills out a questionnaire which becomes part of the certification process.

Summing that up, a concept is taught, a concept is demonstrated, a concept is practiced by the students, and then the concept Is assigned to each of them to complete as a coach before the next training session. 

Perhaps the most important element that differentiates my method is this; my course is designed in a manner that creates lifelong friendships and networking.

5. Do you follow up to see what happens with those who go through your course?

Yes, of course! I always keep my contact with and follow people who have attended my programs. Since my goal is to pass on what I have developed, it is very important for me follow those I have taught. 

It is always humbling when I learn about the incredible things my graduates have done:

  • Influenced hundreds of latchkey and crackhouse kids
  • Set up the first Coaching practice for women in Nairobi
  • Worked with rescuing girls from trafficking
  • Led a failing business to great success in nine months
  • Mentored “at-risk youth” through high school
  • Established a co-op to teach confidence and leadership to homeschooled kids
  • Led an unlikely high school team to a national championship
  • Raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide college scholarships
  • Developed suicide prevention programs for high schools
  • Hundreds of marriages restored
  • Hundreds of families saved
  • Published books about hope, healing, restoration, and leadership 
  • Thousands of addictions conquered
  • Hundreds of articles written
  • Hundreds of speeches given  
  • Thousands of lives transformed

As we were ending our conversation, he said, “I’m retired now. And I’ve been successful financially. But I would like to join the ranks of people like that! Do you think I need Coaching? Or do I need Coach Training?“

I’m asked that question quite often. And before I answer, let me assure you this is not an ad for my Coaching practice. I have been very blessed with wonderful clients, and I am so grateful for that. And I have a huge network of Coaches I could refer him to.

But this is not an ad. This is me wanting to make sure that you are living your life to its fullest. To help you feel fulfilled each night when you put your head on the pillow, To help you know that you have lived your purpose.

So when people ask me, “do I need Coaching?” my response is always the same. 

I ask two questions:

“Are you living your life to the fullest, pursuing your purpose with great passion?”

“Do you feel ‘fulfilled’ most nights when you put your head on the pillow?” (Do you feel you have made a difference?)

If the answer to either of those questions is no, I recommend Coaching.

When people ask me why they should take Coach Training, I ask them:

 “Do you have a yearning to help people more, and would you like to be more effective doing that.”

“Do you have a yearning to influence others to their greatest potential and fulfillment?”.

If the answer to either question is no, Coach Training may not be the next logical step for them.

If the answer to either is yes, I invite them to equip themselves to do just that through Coach Training.

I envision our world as a better place. A world where we love one another, care about one another, encourage one another, empower one another, inspire one another, serve one another.  

Our society does not have to slowly become less than it is. Our economy does not have to crater. Our racial tensions do not have to continue. Our communities do not have to become hotbeds for drugs and crime. Our marriages don’t have to be miserable. Our families don’t have to be splintered. 

Can I do this by myself? Of course not! I’m not that naïve or egotistical.

But during those times of doubt, I recall the story of the little boy who found thousands of starfish washed up on the shore. As he tossed one after another back into the sea, an old man rebuked him. “You can’t save them all, boy!”

As the boy reached down to toss another starfish safely into the ocean, he said, “I know! But I can save this one!“

I hope and pray that you will consider joining me.  You, too, can “save this one!”