issue online at http://www.todayscoach.com/2002/1112502inspire.html|
Please visit the discussion board at http://www.villecom.com/index.php
where you can add your comments and read the comments of others coaches
everywhere, organized by the topics covered here in the upcoming Today's
Coach ezine -- the most read coaching-related ezine in the world.
Tuesday, November 26,
Have you ever
Why coaching has come along when it has?
attracted to the idea of being a coach?
What your high-end clients
are really using you for?
Why the therapist vs coach vs consultant
thing is really a moot point?
Wondering what you'll be coaching
clients on 10-50 years from now, if not sooner?
Why CoachVille has
become so popular so quickly?
Well, so have
And, one possible explanation is below. I call it the 7
Economies and the focus of this issue of Today's Coach is on the
PDF version of above graphic is at
Dave Buck and I were chatting about coaching and
he shared with me his idea that perhaps we are moving toward what he terms
the Inspiration Economy -- where people earn their living from what
inspires them. Imagine an entire economy around that? Wow.
The basic idea is that coaching -- given it brings
out the very, very best in people -- is the perfect partner in higher-tier
I've been wondering for years why coaching continues to be
popular. I knew that it was more than a fad; yet I have been
impressed with its staying power. True, coaches add value and
whatever service or product adds value is going to be popular in the
But the rapid development, evolution and
customization of coaching to serve a wide number of markets and in a
variety of guises has been most impressive. Almost like coaching is
being pulled forward by something. There is an eagerness for
Could that eagerness be that humans are now
ready and able to move on from the information/experience economies and
into a higher-tier economy, such as the creative/inspiration
here are six points that I make below (with the help
of Dave Buck, originator of the Inspiration Economy
Economies evolve with innovation and
The 7 Economies Chart above identifies that economies we've had and
points to several possible emerging or forming economies. Economies
are important because they are the basis of
Economies have evolved over time from a
farming-based way of living/earning a living to the
industrial/manufacturing age (which started in England) to the
now-omnipresent economy called the Information Economy. Nothing new
here, except that the rate of evolution from one economy to the next has
developed countries are currently in the middle of the information
economy, transitioning into the experience economy
The term "experience
economy," popularized by writers B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore,
describes the idea that people are buying experiences not just a product
or service. People are buying an experience at Walt Disney not just
rides. People are buying an experience at the Rain Forest Cafe, not
just a meal. People are buying an experience at a Virgin Megastore, not
just records or books. Which means that the more you can provide
folks a sense of an experience/feeling, the more they will bond with you
and return for more. That stores have music running in the
background and free tastes is a simple/low-end example of this.
Whatever one can do to convert a commodity to an experience keeps the
buyers intrigued and buying.
Coaches, too, are providing an
experience, not just professional services.
The very early adopters, such as coaches, are
already actively engaged in the top 3 economies.
And, as would make sense,
there are future economies under development, yes? the 3 that make
sense are the creative, inspirational and spiritual economies. My
colleague Dave Buck shared with me his idea around this called the
Inspiration Economy where people make their living and have a life built
around being inspired. Not just 'creativity' per se. And much
more than commitment. And even more than passion. Inspiration.
Hmmm. Love it. And, perhaps, THIS is why clients are coming to
coaches -- to enter the age of inspiration and for help in earning their
livelihoods via something they are inspired to do. And perhaps
coaches are the perfect partner for these clients, because most coaches
are already examples of this economy, yes?
A bit more on the creative and
With the rise of the 50 million
"cultural creatives" (Paul Rey's work) and with the cultural freedom to be
creative in general -- along with new tools that help anyone tap into the
ways in which they can create, I think we'll see an explosion of
creativity over the next 20 years, which will lead to innovation, a
stronger economy, etc. We're already seeing this in the coaching
community as individual coaches are driving innovation, not as much the
institutions of coaching. As individuals are empowered to create and
get access to the tools of creativity and the markets that want new
products/services, everybody wins. Slow down that process and we all
become stagnant, as does the economy.
Any, my wild guess is that at
some point -- perhaps 50 to 100 years from now, we'll be seeing the
Spiritual Economy even it that does sound
I believe that coaches are both
key players and catalysts in the natural evolution toward the Inspiration
(and other) economies.
Long-term, coaching is SO much more
than goal setting and accountability. Sure, that sells in the marketplace,
but there's a much larger, richer game and dynamic at work here, isn't
My best guess is that
coaching -- and the work that coaches do, whether formal/commercial
coaches or when coaching occurs between anyone is catalytic,
transformational and evolutionary.
1. Coaching catalyzes people to strengthen
themselves from the inside out, build the muscle of achievement, and to
2. Coaching transforms a person's
relationship with themselves, others and ideas.
evolves a person by
helping them to design and perfect both physical and virtual environments
that stimulate them in surprising ways.
It's just a matter of time
until the public finds its way to these higher-tier
Meanwhile, coaches are living in these top-tier economies
(creative, inspiration and spiritual economies). My friend and
colleague Dave Buck explains it this way:
--As coaches, we are
leading the way toward the higher tier economies and will thrive/prosper
as a result.
--The higher tier economies will each have their own set
of proficiencies -- as coaches we will thrive and clarify the
proficiencies of the Inspiration Economy
--As more people move into the
Inspiration Economy, the demand for coaching will increase as a direct
byproduct. This, because coaching is perfectly suited to helping
people discover what inspires them in life and then building a life,
worklife and lifestyle around that. Just as coaches have done for
their own lives.
Remember, what we're saying here is that, for an
increasing percentage of the population, life won't be life unless it's
inspiring. And, to be fair, not everyone will buy into this
notion. But our guess is that many will. And coaching will be
there to serve them. (And coaches can serve folks who prefer a different
focus in life; inspiration is just one of the 7 economies. All are
Why does this matter to you?
The role of the coach continues to evolve.
Initially it was to hold clients accountable, or to ask questions or to be
a personal cheerleader. But over the past 5 years, the
sophistication level of coaches and coaching has been increasing
significantly in order to meet the demands of the marketplace. One
of the emerging roles of the coach is to help clients live an inspiring
and inspired life, not just a traditionally-defined successful
That one word -- inspired --
makes all the difference.
Way to go, Dave
Do you have a comment/addition to the
above? If so, and if you'll let us run it next week in the Today's
Coach, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll run a
representative sample of comments received and we'll need to include your
name as the contributor.
Inspiration Economy is a timely topic. And it explains so much about
coaching and the popularity of coaching.
Dave will be speaking on this at the
CoachVille Conference in May 2003 in San Francisco at the Future of Coaching