FAQ: Getting Started

How Does The Process Begin?

A coaching engagement begins with a free, low-stakes conversation in-person or over the phone. This is not an official “coaching” meeting, but rather a chance simply to get to know one another, find out what you are looking for, and learn about how I work. If we discover that a coaching engagement is something you want to pursue, then we can talk about the three things that will need to be in place so that we can begin at our next meeting.

What are the three things that need to be in place for a coaching engagement to begin?

  • 1) Your topic, and why it is important to you.

  • 2) The length of time you wish to engage in coaching for.

  • 3) Your choice of payment (Standard, or Sacred Economics).

What do you mean by “Your Topic”?

Central to the coaching method I use is what I call your topic. Your topic is what you bring to our engagement as the central thing you wish to focus on and change through our work together. Topics that my clients bring tend to revolve around business-related skills, capacities, and goals but they do not need to be exclusive to them. No two topics are exactly alike and before a successful coaching engagement can begin, we need to know exactly what you want to see change!

What do you mean by “Why is it important to you?”

I always work under the assumption THAT your topic is important. But in our first conversation we need to understand why your topic is important to you. As your coach, I need to be able to look at the world through your eyes, and to do this effectively I need to understand why this topic matters deeply to you.

Most coaches do something that I call “look AT you” which means that they are trained to look at you and offer things that could improve your situation. This can be enormously helpful, but at the same time quite limited because they are things that the coach would do if they were you. I want to find out why your topic is important because I need to “look AS you” so that I can offer you things that you could do (but might not necessarily see yet).

Not many coaches do this. When somebody looks at your topic through your eyes, suddenly you are not alone in your struggle. A skilled coach can not only give advice and perspective, but they can give the right advice and perspective based on what the world looks like in your world...not theirs.

What do you mean by “Standard Fee For Service”?

I have a standard rate for my services, and in the executive coaching industry they are in the mid-market range. I encourage you to contact the person/group in your office who is in charge of executive coach services and have them get in touch with me for an estimate. If the financial support structure for coaching services does not exist in your company, I reserve 2-3 slots in my coaching panel for clients who would like to use Sacred Economics.

What is Sacred Economics?

Sacred Economics was developed by an economist named Charles Eisenstein, and I use a version that I have adapted to the executive coaching and consulting space. At the core of Sacred Economics is “true value transfer.” This is achieved by using the Gift Economy. That is, if you choose to engage with me using the principles of Sacred Economics you will be choosing to receive a gift from a client who has come before you. Your seat in my panel will be free. You will never meet the client that has gifted you your seat, but you will have a chance to pay-it-forward to the next client (but you will not be required to at all).

What is the catch?

The catch is whether you and I have the courage and trust to do this. Let me explain how this works.

When using Sacred Economics, I do not set my rates. You set them. That is, you reflect upon the nature of the personal/professional work you are about to engage, as well as the duration of time you wish to dedicate to it, and you decide upon an amount of money that you feel it will be worth. You will be “gifting” this amount to the next person who enters my practice, just as someone has done for you before you. Because neither I, nor the person who will receive your gift are privileged to the constellation of factors comprising your finances (including emotion, income, dependents, assets, etc.), it would be futile for anybody other than you to come up with an appropriate number for yourself.

Whatever number you arrive at will be acceptable provided it comes from a place of honest reflection, and we will talk about your choice without judgement before we start.

Ok, once I come up with a number...then what do we do?

Once you come up with a number that represents what you would be willing to gift for the overall engagement, we will take that number and divide it into three parts.

  • 1) The first part will be due at the beginning of our engagement. The reason for this is that we will need to have some economy flowing through the system to start us off.

  • 2) The second portion is due at the mid-point of our engagement. If we are working for 6 months, then this would be due at the end of the third month, and so forth. The reason for this is important, because during a coaching engagement the middle weeks/months is a special time. It is a time that is often turbulent and a little disorienting. In fact if we are experiencing turbulance it is a sign that we are doing something right because you will be learning lots of new skills and applying them in different contexts, sometimes to great success and sometimes making mistakes. This is supposed to happen. A new way of being will be emerging for you, but because this “middle part” can be a little disorienting, we need our economic system to support you staying-in and not running away. Some clients get frustrated in this middle part of our work and feel tempted to call it quits, but this would waste all of our hard work to this point. Therefore, our economic agreement should support you in “staying in.”

Therefore the 1st and 2nd installments of the number that you choose are mandatory, and are due at the outset and middle of our coaching engagement.

You said that the 1st and 2nd installments are mandatory. Does that mean that the 3rd installment is optional?

Yes. In Sacred Economics you have the choice over what amount your final installment is. It all depends on your assessment of how much value you have received, and how you would like to represent that value monetarily. If you feel the value you received was worth zero, then you are totally within your rights to transfer that amount as a representation of value received. If you feel the value you received was worth the original intended third of the overall engagement then you are perfectly within your rights to transfer that amount. If you feel you have received more value than the originally intended amount, you are free to transfer more. And anything in between.

Sacred Economics relies upon reflection on the part of the receiver to assess the true value that has been transferred and then act in accordance with your own constellation of factors that I, the giver, could never fully understand. You are allowed the space to determine the right number to transfer. A sacred space.

This amount enters the economic system and allows another client after you to begin this process just as you were able to do so in the beginning too.

What are my options again for the final installment?

You have three choices in front of you at the completion of our work. They are:

  • a) to pay the originally intended amount for the 3rd installment.

  • b) pay less than the intended final third (by any amount, including zero).

  • c) more than the final third by any amount you feel represents that true value you received.

Sacred Economics relies upon reflection on the part of you, the receiver, to assess for yourself the true value that has been transferred and then act in accordance with your own constellation of factors that I, the giver, could never fully understand. You are allowed the space to determine the right number to transfer. This is a sacred space.

What guidelines do you offer for your clients who are considering starting out using with Sacred Economics with you?

First of all, there is no way to get around the fact that this method can sound a little “woo-woo.” However, being offered the opportunity to reclaim the power you have in our economy is a potent gift, if not a little unexpected. So my suggestion is this:

When it comes to deciding upon your intended number to “gift” the next person, I suggest you take a moment and pause to allow yourself to experience what it feels like to receive this gift from a client who has come before you.

Learn more...

I gave that person the same guidelines before that I will give you here. I suggested that when searching for a number that represents what you are willing to pay for your overall engagement that you land upon a number that falls somewhere between a mere “token” and a complete “financial sacrifice.” That is, if you treat the work you want to engage in as “nothing” then you may not be giving it the proper respect that it is due, and the number you arrive at should represent this.

At the same time, you should not be making a complete financial sacrifice to do this work either. Not only is this not healthy, but this is not the energy I am inviting into my coaching practice. I am not looking for financial martyrs, nor do you wish to be one. You should be able to pay your rent, your bills, etc. and still do the personal/professional development work you want and need to do.

Therefore the “middle path between a mere “token” and a complete “financial sacrifice” is a place that is right for you. That number will be different for everybody. It should feel like a little bit of a stretch, but not something that is going to tear you apart at the seams. That is the optimal place for you and your growth. I cannot dictate what number this is. Only you can come up with it. While the number will be different for every person, the energy from which it comes is the same and I invite you to feel what it feels like to receive this from somebody as they have already done this reflection and given you a gift from this place before you arrived.

If I want to find out more about Sacred Economics, where can I go?

There’s lots out there, including a book called Sacred Economics. Here is a short video that can be a good place to start: