Online Group Coaching – Its Time Has Come!

train with unhappy people copy

In my discussions with people about the online group coaching that we do using our Finish Agent accountability software, they always ask instead, “But when do I do my phone coaching?”

Of course, people who license our software can coach however and whenever their hearts desire.

But the truth is, incredible progress occurs in online coaching as a result of the daily online discussions between the coach and the small group members.

In other words, online group coaching works!

But, as you probably know, every time some new invention appears, there are people who think it must be worse than what went before.

Some coaches who I explain online coaching to react as if I’m talking about some “new-fangled idea,” and others seem to ignore me as they continue to ask about where they put their content (tons of places in the site for content).

ARGH! There is power in online coaching!

Perhaps it’s hard for people to believe that by writing and reading, their clients can make changes within a coaching relationship. After all, there isn’t much information about online group coaching’s effectiveness.

Online coaching is like any innovation – it’s hard for people to accept or even understand the value of a new invention. You’ve heard about the people who laughed at the “horseless carriage,” right?

It’s actually fun to find quotes from people who disparage any new-fangled thing. Here are some cute ones:

“This `telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a practical form of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.”
Western Union internal memo, 1878

“Radio has no future.”
Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), British mathematician and physicist, ca. 1897.

“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”
Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), ca. 1895, British mathematician and physicist

[Not a good prediction track record, Lord Kelvin. Actually it’s an absolute zero.]

“Computers in the future may… perhaps only weigh 1.5 tons.”
– Popular Mechanics, 1949.

“There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.”
Kenneth Olsen, president and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.

And my favorite:

“Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.”
Dr. Dionysus Lardner (1793-1859), Professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy at University College, London.

Well, let me give you some idea of the effectiveness of online coaching, which I’ve been doing, or supervising others who are doing it, for the last 9 years. Here are just some of the hundreds of testimonials that we have received over the years.

[Note that the name of my online membership site, where clients only get online coaching, is Academic Writing Club. It’s for professors and grad students who need to write more. Academic Writing Club, which I developed, is the software that I based the Finish Agent software on.]  Bold text added by me.

This program rocks! The discipline PLUS the support is the best thing that has happened to me in a long time (career-wise).”

“I can see my work habits changing daily. For the first time EVER in my academic career I feel confident that I can not only live up to expectations but possibly even exceed them. (Immediate anxiety aside) work is fun.”

I’m appreciating starting my day by reading new posts in this writing club, and I’m appreciating ending my day by reflecting on what I’ve done, done well, could have done better, and will do tomorrow. Thanks to all for advice and encouragement.”

“It felt nice to take a moment and applaud my fellow group members whose updates preceded mine today. I was so glad to see them moving along through the thick and thin we all suffer. Going through a rough day in my local surroundings, it is especially nice to have a community here to hear from and to unload on. It even displays how the virtual is as real as the actual…”

“I’m feeling really good again today and realizing how much I appreciate having a group to pick you up when you’re feeling down and point out that what feels like a total catastrophe to you, isn’t really that deep.

“The more and longer I engage in the writing club, the more valuable I see the socialization of my writing. I have shared my writing in the past and found that valuable but haven’t spent much time talking about the process. This has been very very helpful for me. It’s also been useful witnessing others’ processes and changes. Perhaps its important to continue to think of writing as a social process as well as a solitary process. In that vein, then, this writing club is a very smart thing rather than a crutch. In fact, I don’t think I ever want to return to the “old” days where I wasn’t reflecting on process. Sure, I could do this myself at the end of each workday in a journal or something but there is something more valuable about engaging in it with others.

See more testimonials at

Perhaps you, yourself, have had these kinds of testimonials from your phone or in-person coaching groups.

But keep in mind that in my groups, there were no weekly small group phone coaching calls. All the coaching was done online.

Why should you care? Well, you could do the same thing that I did to get 40 online grups going.  Think about it.

Here are some advantages of online group coaching:

  • You can serve more people
  • It’s highly effective in helping people change
  • You can offer a lower-fee, high value service
  • By serving more people, you can earn a LOT more money
  • It’s easy to train or certify other coaches to do the online coaching for you, leading to passive income

I could say a lot more, but I will just leave you with a more enlightened quote about accepting the possibility of the impossible.

“It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.”
Robert Goddard (1882-1945)


Weekly Accountability is a Weak Technique

One of the main techniques that coaches in coaching groups, namely WEEKLY ACCOUNTABILITY, doesn’t work that well.

If you’re new to my “campus,” then you may not know that I’m a big proponent of providing DAILY ACCOUNTABILITY to your coaching clients.

That may sound ridiculously difficult for you to provide as a coach, but believe me it’s not.  I will explain more in my next post.

But first you must understand the problems with WEEKLY ACCOUNTABILITY.

Here is the typical coaching client, the day of the next WEEKLY group coaching session:

bed_and_clock_small“Argh!  Tonight’s my coaching group!  Where did I put that accountability form the coach told us to fill out? I don’t even remember what I committed to doing this week!

Oh, finally, I found it.  Uh oh, I committed to calling 3 prospects and writing two blog posts!  I haven’t done any of that!  Well, maybe I’ll start on the blog posts. I can’t think of anything to write about!  It’s too much pressure.  Well I’ll write any old thing so at least I can say I finished one.”

What happened here?

WEEKLY (and certainly MONTHLY) ACCOUNTABILITY doesn’t work well because:

1. Usually the tasks that people commit to doing are the very tasks that they have anxiety about implementing.

a. The coach rarely addresses the underlying anxiety
b. People need more hand holding and help because of this anxiety

2. It’s too easy to put off tasks until tomorrow.

3. It’s easy for the clients to forget what they committed to do.

4. People tend to plan implementing their big tasks in “binges.”

Here’s an example of a binge: “I committed to calling 10 prospects.  I’ll just sit down and call all of them on Friday afternoon.”

procrastination_chalkboard_smallWhen Friday rolls around: “OMG, 10 prospects!  I hate calling prospects.  I think I have to warm up by meeting a friend for a long lunch.”

Later:  “Oh, darn; it’s too late to call people, and besides nobody wants to be called on a Friday afternoon after 3:00.”

5. Binges cause procrastination, perfectionism and paralysis, in a vicious cycle.

6. People become overwhelmed when faced with a large task.  Coaches usually don’t help their clients, especially when they’re coaching groups, to break large tasks into smaller tasks.

DAILY ACCOUNTABILITY, if done right, can vastly improve your clients’ results.  That will be the subject of my next blog post.

Most of you have probably only experienced weekly accountability.  Have you had any of the problems mentioned above?  I’d love to hear what you think, both from the coach point of view and from the client point of view.


Seth Godin: We thrive on immediate feedback

We want immediate feedbackI love this post, “Short term, long term” by Seth Godin.  His point is that if you want to get people to change, give them feedback as soon as possible after they do something. Note that this is true for both positive and negative feedback.

That’s why I designed the Finish Agent software to allow you (or your coaches) and the small group to give daily online feedback to your clients about their behavior as they implement their coaching goals.

The “old school” style type of coaching is to meet weekly.  At that time, the client will recount his progress and you can reinforce what they’ve done or help them see that they are not going in the direction they had wanted to.  The weekly check-in-as-accountability session is frequently the model in group coaching.

Of course, weekly coaching is an effective technique.  But in some cases, it doesn’t help the client achieve their coaching goal.  Because, frankly, many coaching clients don’t make any progress during the week.

What happens during the week where nothing has happened?  (I know that’s a nonsensical question, but bear with me.)  Here are some of the things that stop clients from moving forward during the week:

  1. Clients forget what they had said they would accomplish that week
  2. Negative thoughts enter their head and take route, leading to Resistance
  3. It’s hard for them to remember at just the right time what they’ve already learned from you
  4. Other people make discouraging remarks
  5. Outside distractions take on urgency, and derail them from their primary goal

It seems pretty obvious that daily feedback from the coach would be more helpful than weekly feedback in each of these situations:

  1. You would remind them of their goals when they stray
  2. You reframe negative thoughts and thus fight Resistance
  3. You remind them at just the right time of what they need to remember, so that they can progress
  4. You empathize and help reframe when others are discouraging
  5. You steer them back from distractions, or help them rework their priorities

As is typical in these situations, it’s not the clients’ motivation, ability, or intelligence that holds them back.  It’s the psychology of getting things done, especially the One Big Thing. Everyone needs support, reinforcement and feedback, and frequent small sessions of this are sometimes better than a longer weekly session.

This is the premise of our Finish Agent software.  We provide an online environment for you, the coach, to run a small group membership site; a place where your clients can easily be accountable on a daily basis to taking small steps towards their goals.  The immediate, short-term feedback that Seth Godin refers to is a huge and important part of the success of coaches who run Finish Agent groups and membership sites.

Have you ever had the experience of getting feedback when it was… just too late?


How to stay focused: 3 simple secrets to help your clients succeed

Here is my focus in this blog.  Actually I have two.

inspectingMy first focus is this:  I want to show you — the coach, consultant, or change agent — how to get things done and develop good work habits.

My second goal is to show you that you’re missing something in your work with clients.

Are your clients getting their long-term goals accomplished?  If the answer is “No” or “I don’t know,” read on.

Here’s what I’ve seen over and over — wonderful teaching, inspirational, motivational coaching sessions, but not enough training in how to get that big project done in daily, doable small steps.

Today my focus is on how to get your client to focus on those small steps.

Here is how I work with my clients to help them focus on the important.

inspectingupOnce the client has decided what their long-term project will be (e.g. starting a business, improving their use of social media, writing a book, developing healthy eating habits, building their practice), the client needs to know what to do next.

A long-term goal is important, but if you don’t know what to do tomorrow, you won’t do anything at all.

I believe that most people thrive with extremely specific plans, which means they need plans for what to do each day.

Jocelyn K. Glei reports in 99u that “a recent happiness study from Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert found that the more our minds wander, the less happy we are. Summing the research, the New York Times wrote, ‘Whatever people were doing, whether it was having sex or reading or shopping, they tended to be happier if they focused on the activity instead of thinking about something else.’ In short, being mentally ‘present’ and focused on the task at hand really does matter – quite a lot, in fact.”

The only way to learn how to focus is to know exactly what you should focus on.

So I ask the client to determine the very specific next steps they must take.  I work with them until they know what they are going to do, in small steps, each day.

I also help them break down what could possibly get in their way, and how they are going to accomplish each small step.

Clients are overwhelmed by a deluge of information, thoughts, fears, and interruptions from daily life.  Without a list of next steps, they just won’t take any steps.

Seven Rules to Teach your Clients

  1. If you don’t know what to focus on, you can’t focus.
  2. If you can’t set an intention to focus, you probably won’t focus long.
  3. If you don’t eliminate distractions, you will be interrupted and stop focusing.
  4. If you don’t know that you’ve been distracted, you will end up doing something else without being aware of it.
  5. If you focus too long, you will burn out and not want to focus the next day.  So you need a reminder to stop.
  6. Without a reminder to keep focused, you may lose your focus.
  7. You need a way to mark the fact that you have started, which helps you start focusing.

Three Simple Tools That Help You Learn How to Focus

Here are 3 simple tools that address these issues.  See if you can identify which issues each one addresses.

  1. Use a timer.  First decide how long you want to work.  Make it a reasonable period of time (planning on 30 minutes is better than planning on 4 hours, because you might not want to do 4 hours, so you’ll do nothing).   Turn the timer on, and start your work.  As long as that timer is on, you keep going.  You don’t stop for email, eating or any other distraction.  When the timer bell dings, you stop.  You don’t keep going.

    Using this method, you have an internal reminder of what you are supposed to focus on, and an external reminder of when it’s time to start and stop.

  2. There’s an app for that: Concentrate, for Macs only, lets you specify which applications on your computer will be turned off while you focus solely on your chosen task.  It also gives you reminder sounds to help you stay on task.  It then turns off those apps once you tell it that you have started.

  3. Intentionq is a simple, web-based app that is designed to make you aware of what is often unconscious.  The designers of Intentionq ask this intriguing question:  “What would it look like to use the computer in a more intentional way; to only engage in tasks out of a conscious desire to do so?”  They then explain that Intentionq aims to answer that question in the simplest way possible, by recording and tracking your intentions as you use the computer.

First you set your intention. The instructions below say this say, “What are you using the computer for?  Be specific.”


Here I’ve set my intention as “writing an article,” and I’ve chosen 25 minutes as the amount of time that I want to work on it.


The timer has started, and I’m reminded by the title what my intention is.  If I decide part way through the 25 minutes that I want to check my email, I must set a new intention.


I’ve set my intention to check my email for 10 minutes.  Note that my previous intention is “Pending” below in the middle bottom.


As soon as I finish checking my email, the app will put my previous intention, “Writing an article” back on the screen, and continue the countdown clock.

The point of Intentionq is to help your clients become intentionally aware of the choices they are making, instead of finding themselves immersed in Pinterest 2 hours later, without any awareness of how they got there.  Like I was yesterday.

Try one or more of these apps for yourself.  Most of us mere mortals need something external to help us structure our work.  And remember, FOCUS!

What do you think of these apps?  Do you know of others? What do you do to focus? How have you helped your clients focus?

Please post your responses or thoughts below – I really want to hear from you!

Stuck? Take this one-week challenge, get things done, and do what matters!

Couple in libraryYou may be surprised to hear that the secret to getting your most important work done — no matter how busy you are — depends less on principles to keep in mind and more on a number of myths to put out of your mind.

All too often, whenever you’re swamped with tasks and deadlines, urgency tends to wins out over importance, and you lose ground on the big, needle-moving projects you care about the most. They’ll just have to wait, you tell yourself, until . . .

Until when?

Unfortunately, the answer is sometimes “never.”

In other words, if the only thing that gets you going is urgency, you may never complete projects those less-than-urgent projects that mean the most to you.

Woman on treadmillIf that’s the case in your life or your clients’ lives, then it may be time to explore a few unwritten rules you’ve been unconsciously following. I call these inaccurate rules the “Getting It Done Myths.”

Believing these myths will cause you to keep doing things the same, old-fashioned ways — even if they may not have worked out so well for you before.

Keep in mind that old saying, “If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got.”

I’ve been reading Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive by Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin and Robert B. Cialdini

The authors’ research shows that frequently the reason that people don’t change is that they tend to notice only the evidence that fits their current beliefs. In other words, they’re blind to possible alternatives.

So if you’ve been unproductive, that fact alone won’t necessarily lead you to wonder if there’s a better way.

I’ve decided to start a series of blog posts on the “Get It Done Myths” – those myths that hold you back from getting things done. If you’ve followed my writing, you know I’m not talking about errands and chores. I’m talking about being productive and making real headway on that long-term project that really matters to you — whatever it is that will make you feel successful in your own eyes.

Stay tuned, because I plan on challenging all your assumptions about how to get it done.

Questionmark linesSo here’s the first part of my challenge: Decide what long-term project matters most to you, that you’ve been procrastinating on getting done.

Do you have 15 minutes, or even 10 minutes you could devote to this “important but not urgent” work every day this week (not counting weekends)?

If not, why not?

Seriously. Why not?

If so, spend those 10-15 minutes a day doing that all-important (but less-than-urgent) work. Note whether or not it’s hard for you, and if so, why. Taking on this challenge will make it much more interesting to learn about the Getting It Done Myths.

Do you continue to stay stuck?
Do you get something done?
How does it feel?
What do you think of when you contemplate this idea?

Post your results and thoughts below.

Five Ways to Lose Clients and Money

There are at least 5 coaching skills (including business building skills) that coaching schools don’t teach.  This is a huge disservice, because not knowing these skills can keep your clients stuck in inaction, and therefore, unable to succeed.  A client who doesn’t take action is not a satisfied client, no matter how good the information you provided them with.  That client will not return for more coaching from you, and won’t give you referrals.  Here’s a fictitious case study:

A coach, Ambrosia A. Albatross, has a unique system for helping people leave the jobs they hate and develop  their  own businesses.  It’s a 6-step process, and she decides to teach it in a 6-class teleseminar series.

Word has spread about how wonderful her system is, so she gets 20 people to sign up for her teleseminar series.  Along with this series, she offers an online forum and homework.

Week 1:  People love what they are learning and are inspired.

Week 2:  Fewer people attend, some haven’t done the homework.

Week 3.  People feel overloaded with information and guilty that they haven’t taken a single step to put this useful system into effect.

Week 4:  Same as Week 3

Week 5:  Same as Week 4

Week 6:  Same as Week 5

Ambrosia ends the teleseminar series by offering an upsell to her expensive individual coaching package or her very expensive VIP Mentorship Day.  These are truly fantastic opportunities, and 4 of the 20 people sign up.

 Sounds pretty good, right?

 But there are a few things really wrong with this picture…

1.   People are NOT taking action on what they learned.

Why?  The usual: resistance, busyness, distractions that we all have and experience.

What do they need?  To have their hands held.

What is the result of their not taking action? They are less likely to recommend your program or return to you for   further services.

2.  People are not being told what they need to do each day.

This is what I mean by hand-holding.  People need lessons broken down into itty bitty pieces so that they can wrap their minds around the information and then actually start to DO IT.  In other words, they need to be told HOW TO GET THINGS DONE.

3.  There is little accountability.

People drop out of sight and are forgotten.

4.  An AFFORDABLE upsell or cross sell is missing.

What about the 80% of people in Ambrosia’s class who didn’t sign up?  We can’t all afford 5-digit programs!

Not only do the clients miss out, but the coach misses out on an important revenue stream that is scalable.

5.  There is no continuity program — no ongoing community of like-minded people, who are all working on similar issues, or who have similar problems or goals, and who are utilizing the techniques that Ambrosia has taught them.

The solution to all of this?  Ambrosia needs a system that (in addition to her fantastic content) focuses on how to get things done.  Her system must provide daily accountability and help her clients take small daily actions.  She needs a way to offer an affordable continuity program that flows seamlessly from her teleseminar series, so that her clients succeed, and so that she doesn’t leave an entire revenue stream on the table.

Does any of this sound familiar to you?  Have you been in teleseminars like this and not implemented what you learned?  How have you dealt with these issues in your own coaching practice?

Are You a Content-Creating Machine or a Coach? How I Survived My Year from Hell!

Do you love creating content for your programs?

Do you enjoy constantly inventing new, innovative products and formulating creative ways to package your offers – week after week and month after month?

I’m sure that, in the beginning, you felt an absolute high from building your business and sharing your work and passion with the world. When you launch a new product and get great results, the experience is incredibly satisfying!

But do you think that you will continue to love this process of creating content and innovative products year after year? What happens if you become burned out?

Or, what if (heaven forbid!) something goes wrong in your life and you suddenly aren’t able to create a new product launch or write content every week?

For five years, I regularly wrote a newsletter. And for nearly two of those years, I was writing those newsletters once a week. But somewhere along the way, I grew tired of the process of creating that content, so I began slowing down my output to biweekly… and then to monthly.

And then, life happened.

My back started hurting, and the pain became worse and worse. Sitting down was incredibly painful – so my options were to either stand up or lie flat.   As you can imagine, my physical limitations affected my ability to work all. (Try typing on your laptop while lying down!)

I endured a year of pain and frustration while the insurance company postponed my much-needed surgery for what doctors later discovered was a bone spur sticking into my spine. When the time finally came to undergo the procedure, I was hopeful that my hard times were about to pass.

However, during this same time, my father faced his own health challenges and had triple bypass surgery.

And then, to top it all off, I had to go through a divorce.  I recovered from the back surgery alone.

It was a rough year.

It wasn’t quite the optimal situation for creating content, or new innovative products to inspire the masses, and keep my revenue flowing in.

Thank goodness I had a system in place that literally saved my business throughout that year from Hell! It made money for me while I was unable to work… and without it, I just don’t know what I would have done.

What was this system? A unique membership site that I had created and that didn’t require continual formation of content. Instead, this site focuses on the process of getting things done.  It is completely focused on helping people to move into (and remain in) action.

And why is it so effective? Because based on my work with thousands of professionals, I know that once you come to terms with exactly what it is that you want to do in the world, you’ve only taken the very first step.

What comes next is the arduous task of taking that official first step, and then the next, and the next, and the next, and continuing to progress forward even as you face external and internal barriers along the way.

If you can find a way, like I did, to pair your teaching with a method that guides your clients to take those consistent steps toward achieving their goals, I suggest jumping on it. Not only for their success – but for your own!

You just never know when life is going to throw you for a loop… but with a program in place like the one I’m talking about here, you don’t have to stress about the bills along with everything else that’s going on!

Check out this screenshot of a Progress Page for one of the 40 groups that are a part of my membership site, the Academic Writing Club. ( I offer this program through my first business, Academic Ladder, Inc., which serves professors and grad students wrestling with writer’s block.

See all those little green checkmarks? Each one represents an actual day that members logged in and worked toward their goals, allowing them to effectively monitor their progress toward successful goal achievement.

(And, did I mention that I don’t even have to run the site? The entire program is run by two managers and 13 coaches!)

And here’s where it gets good:

I have created an opportunity like this just for you.

You can do the same thing I did! You can “weatherproof” your business against the storms of life, by creating a get-it-done, process-oriented membership site, customized to your niche, your clients, and your teaching!

Below is a screenshot of the same Progress Page as above, but this one is from my new site (Finish Agent), which licenses membership site software to you, the business owner. (This example is customized for Zoom Crew, an up-and-coming business.)

I will be offering more information about this spectacular opportunity for you in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, start celebrating this: you can earn a living without having to create content! How would you spend your time if you had a membership site making passive income for you? What would it be worth to you to weatherproof your business against the storms of life? Please leave a comment below!

If you have questions about how I run my membership site or about how to license the software from Finish Agent, please enter them below or email me at

And by the way, my back is much better now, and so is my life!

Change Your Action Steps, Change Your Beliefs

Have you ever responded to a client who has come to you ready and willing to finally learn how to take action and change her behavior, with some version of the following? “Wait! You’re unlikely to make any behavior changes until you change your negative thinking. Before you can change your life in any way, you have to get rid of your limiting beliefs and learn how to be positive!”

I used to give this answer to clients wanting to change habits too!

As a psychotherapist and licensed clinical psychologist, I knew the power of the unconscious. And I was skeptical about any change sticking until we changed the client’s underlying negative thinking and beliefs about him or herself.

So, I focused on helping clients get to the root of their negative thinking, and on finding the underlying cause of their false beliefs.

Belief change methods are hugely popular amongst coaches today. And, they can absolutely be effective. The idea comes down to this: Beliefs influence behavior.  Change the belief, change the behavior.

However, after being a coach for 8 years, and running a membership site based on behavior change and taking action steps first, I have discovered an even more effective method to help clients make positive behavior changes. The idea I am proposing is this: Behavior influences beliefs. Change the behavior, change the belief.


In other words:

“Do it and the belief change will come.”

This method’s effectiveness comes down to the size of these action steps; the secret is to make them teeny, tiny, and unintimidating! By taking small, painless steps first, your clients don’t have to figure out how to be positive and generate new beliefs about themselves before taking action.

By taking these very small action steps daily, pretty soon they begin to add up! And, as your clients see themselves taking action over time, something magical starts to happen:

They begin to believe that they are capable of taking action!

When this happens, the client’s old belief may resurface and declare: “I’m not capable of doing this!” But the evidence before them will answer: “And yet, I AM doing this!”

The client will then experience cognitive dissonance, as that old belief arises, and is continually proven untrue. In other words, as your client continues taking action and seeing results, and simultaneously notices that old, self-limiting belief resurfacing, she feels the discomfort of this contrast. The result? She begins letting go of that old belief.

And this is how taking action leads to belief change.

I’ve seen over and over how the power of action is the first step toward changing limiting beliefs and transmuting them into positive beliefs.

A professor who began using these techniques in the Academic Writing Club (, a membership site for academics (and my first business), had these results:

This has been the best … investment in my academic career, ever. I have a whole shelf full of books on writing and procrastination and productivity, but nothing has helped as much as this class. …Not only am I getting more writing done, I’ve started to think about my writing in a different way. And I’ve even started to think about myself in a different way. I am NOT a procrastinator or a person who can’t write. I can do this.

This professor was able to get over her writer’s block and achieve tenure (a giant accomplishment involving lots of writing) during her time in the Academic Writing Club.

Finish Agent is based on the same principles. As a coach, mentor, manager, or leader, you license the Finish Agent software and system and use it to guide your community through taking those small but all-important action steps.

People make changes, and change their beliefs along the way.

I suggest that you coach with this fact in mind – that you really can change your life by beginning with changing what you do. Encourage your clients to take tiny daily action steps and they will learn how to be positive about themselves, and create empowering beliefs in the process.

Have you successfully eliminated negative beliefs by taking small action steps first? How do you help your clients to transform negative beliefs? Please leave a comment below and share your experience!

Get-it-Done Sessions – Experiments on You

I have big news: Scientist experimentingYOU have the power to successfully break bad habits and improve your daily productivity. And guess what else? You also have an inner scientist just waiting to help you do it!

Teaching people how to break their bad habits of procrastination and create new habits of regular productivity is one of my most important personal goals. That’s why, in my previous posts, I have showed you how you must first become aware of your most important personal goals(like the “It” that you want to accomplish), and how you also must learn to set realistic weekly and daily goals.

Let’s explore this goal-accomplishing business a little further by focusing on your work sessions- or as I call it, your “Get-it-Done” sessions: how do you set a realistic goal for each one? How do you determine what constitutes a realistic personal goal for you?

This is where you break out your inner scientist.

No matter how well you did in high school Biology, you have an extremely skilled scientist within you! Each time you take on something new, you make an educated guess (a hypothesis) based on what you think you should be able to do. Then, you experiment to find out what will really happen. And finally, you make changes based on the results.

This is the exact method you can use in your Get-It-Done Session: the Get-It-Done Experiment. You first create a goal based on what you think you should be able to do — your hypothesis. Then, you test it to find out what actually can happen in the time you have allotted. Finally, when you get your results, you can restructure your goal based on the actual data.

Unfortunately, we don’t usually see the process this way. Typically, undertaking a new daily action might look like this:

  1. Goal: I want to start building my muscle strength!
  2. Hypothesis: I should be able to lift heavy weights for two hours!
  3. Post-experiment Data: Ugh, I’m so disgusted with myself. Why did I ever think I could make any improvements? I only worked out 20 minutes and I ache all over!
  4. Conclusion: I’ll give this a try again next week. Maybe. I’m tired.

The same thing might happen when attempting to write more blog posts:

  1. Goal: I want to start writing more blog posts!
  2. Hypothesis: I should be able to write 5 blog posts by working 6 hours straight!
  3. Post-experiment Data: Ugh, I’m so disgusted with myself. Why did I ever think I could make improvements? I only wrote one blog post and stopped after 2 agonizing hours.
  4. Conclusion: I’ll try this again next week. Maybe. I need chocolate — immediately.

Improve your inner dialog by choosing this viewpoint instead: “Oh, how interesting… The data shows that I wrote one blog post and had to stop after 2 agonizing hours. Next time I will aim to do a rough draft of a blog post one day and finish it the next.”

Do you see this difference in attitude? The first reaction is penalizing and defeatist. The reframed conclusion is objective and positive.

Guess which type of reaction leads to decreasing bad habits, increasing good habits, and becoming a happier human being?

You won’t change bad habits of avoidance (or stop procrastination) by beating yourself up every time you make an effort. This is why it is pertinent for us to take an objective look at our behavior while undertaking these goals, to view the results as data, and to then make appropriate adjustments to our daily actions.

Think of it this way: If, after every time you ate a certain food, it resulted in you feeling nauseated, you would stop eating that food, right?

The same is true here. If your Get-it-Done session does not give you the results you want (and makes you just as nauseous), make changes and note the results.

And if your Get-it-Done session gives you satisfactory results, stick with that daily action until it becomes a new habit.


Most importantly: be kind to yourself. Your results after each session are simply data that can help you create your most productive daily actions – and most successful Get-It-Done sessions – so that you can achieve your personal goals.

What do you think about viewing Get-it-Done sessions as experiments? Have you tried objectively examining your habits on a regular basis? Share in the comments below!

Membership Websites Based on Group Accountability, Not Content? YES!

It’s so hard for me to listen to experienced coaches, trainers and mastermind leaders say that membership websites are too difficult to maintain, and ultimately end in failure.

Of course, they believe that the only way to have a membership system that can give you any kind of online income is to base it on creating and providing great content, month after month, forever.

First of all, let me define “content.”  That word is used to mean articles, PDFs, recordings of classes, and videos that teach you something.  Content is wonderful; it’s how we learn.  I’m a big fan of content.Membership website all content

The problem is that the person running the membership system has to come up with content.  For many, that is fun.  They love to teach and train.  BUT, and this is really a big but, what if you get tired of providing content?  What if you get tired of people signing on, downloading your content, and leaving?  What if you have not stockpiled a lot of content and you happen to get sick, or a family member needs you, or you want to take a long vacation?

The fact is that the person in charge of the membership website often just burns out.

That’s why I developed member software and a system that does not rely on content.  Of course, it does allow you to put content in it.  But it relies more on the process of getting things done, by providing an online accountability system that creates a support network with deep bonds, and a community that keeps your clients on track.

When the process of getting things done is front and center, the dynamic of a membership site undergoes a huge shift.  People will then rely on their small group and their online coach for support, encouragement, and reminders of what they should be doing on a daily basis (I’ll save my “daily accountability” secret for another post).


And as you see on my home page, I have already used this system to grow a membership site that has well over 400 members paying $70 a month (or less with long-term plans).  Many people have stayed with my site over four years.  The reason they stay is that the site is amazingly effective.  They have had incredible breakthroughs that they never would have had alone.  and have been able to make more progress in their lives and careers than ever before.  See the testimonials page for just some of the thousands (yes, thousands) of comments from the incredibly grateful and excited members of my Academic Writing Club have written.

And right now, I do none of the hands-on online coaching.  I have 10 coaches who do that for me.  How’s that for a source of passive online income?


Please post below what comes to mind when you think about running a membership site — does it seem worth it to you?