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Purpose and change coach: What I do and how much I make

Alex Durand, a purpose and change coach, shares insights into the coaching industry. He differentiates between executive, career, and life coaches, and explains his unique approach. Durand discusses his virtual company, Frable, its mission, and the challenges of running a coaching business. He emphasizes the importance of personal development and the joy he finds in his work.

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Video transcript

I'm Alex Durand, I'm 27 years old, I'm a purpose and change coach and my salary is just over $50,000. There's primarily three buckets of coaches. Executive coaches, career coaches, and life coaches. Executive coaching is typically thought of as coaches that work with senior leaders in organizations. Career coaches typically help people go from job A to job B. And life coaches are supposed to be able to holistically address any major sphere of your life that you want to focus on for personal development, be it personal relationships to wellness, and I believe some do work with you in a professional context. I consider myself a mixture between an executive coach and a career coach, I'm not a career coach because I don't really help job changers, I don't work, if you send me an email like I want to go from this job to that job I'll refer you to a colleague, 'cause that's not what I work on, I work with people who want to radically redefine what their career and their professional identity looks like. And I am an executive coach by training but also because I believe that at its best, the most high-quality coaching out there today is being provided to senior leaders in organizations. And A in part, people go there because that's where a lot of the money for coaching is, but B it's also because we put a value as a people on leaders in organizations and we don't value as highly middle management and staff. And so the work that we really do at Frable. is to take that high-quality executive coaching experience that your CEO will get and adapt it down and make it relevant and impactful for the next generation of leaders. We work with millennial executives, with people in career transitions, and with people that we call pioneers, people who are rethinking what a career looks like in the 21st century. And what we help them do is A, craft a story by getting really clear on what their strengths and values are, and B, helping them craft a marketplace strategy to help them go out and not only create a vision of what they want for their lives professionally but to help them make steps toward achieving the final vision state. What I love most about my job is being inspired by people. I am inspired by the work that my clients are willing to do to make changes in their life. Whenever I finish a session my girlfriend and I have a joke that I'm like the Energizer Bunny for 30 to 40 minutes after that session. I just love being in that present bubble with a client. I love watching them struggle with their contradictions. I love watching them ask questions that they never thought they would allow themselves to ask, and to witness that to be witness to that is an incredible privilege and one that I'm never tired and I'm wholly humbled by. Because it places us within a context that is bigger than ourselves you just see what can happen when people feel like they're worthy of time care and investment. So Frable is by design primarily a virtual company. We have clients outside of the United States now, in Canada and in Mexico and we hope that that trend will continue in the years to come and it's primarily virtual for two reasons, A, I wanted to build and design a business where I was not anchored geographically. And B, I wanted to work with people outside of where I lived country-wise, city-wise, and also when you think about designing a business you have to think about the financial structure of the business and in reality, every time I travel to see a client, my margins get lowered too, so there's also the financial incentive for designing a virtual business. That said, sometimes clients who are in your vicinity want to meet with you and they want to work with you face to face and I do that too. As founder of Frable, my responsibilities are to wear all hats, that starts with constantly reworking the vision and mission of the company, it deals with taking care of marketing, which today has to do with social media management, all the way to who you're trying to build relationships with, as well as organizations that you might be able to partner with, organizations who represent our organizational values and who we could be of service to to help their employees perform at their highest level. You are the HR department, you are the RND department, you are the logistics department, you are the finance department, you're C Suite, you're the board, and you're everything in between and all in service of making sure that you do your work so that when someone pays you a hard-earned dollar to collaborate with you, that you can show up confidently and know that you're delivering the best possible service to them. Frable has been in business for four years. And each year our revenue has continued to grow. This year we're on track to clear $50,000, which is the average of what a one person coaching business in the United States does, the average coaching business in the US makes around $50,000. What a coach can make or how much a coaching business can make varies depending on who the market is as well as what kind of services one's providing. If you are trying to build a coaching business that focuses solely on recruiting coaches to be a part of your platform and sell business to organizations, that's one kind of model and there are some successful examples in the industry around that. For example, there's some very large outplacement firms that provide pools of coaches to people when they're laid off from organizations and each person gets a coach. Those can be contracts in the millions of dollars. But when you talk to specific individual one person coaching shops, if you do really well and you optimize and you stay in business for seven to ten years, you're looking at about 250 to $300,000 at its max. The majority of coaching businesses fail, the way that most small businesses fail. So you're going to have a cluster of the average who makes 50,000 to the in-betweens that make between that and 300,000 and the ones that make less who for either market conditions or just bad breaks, just can't sustain a business model long enough to keep it going. This isn't a Silicon Valley VC kind of start up life. There may be some coaching businesses that are, I don't know but by and large there are going to be periods of time where you just don't know if this is going to work. There are going to be times when you start as a coach, where you're not going to believe quite yet that what you're doing is right or that it's working. It takes some time to build up your confidence. And if you're not willing to work through the boulders that fall on your path, if you get tired or you don't get motivated by that struggle, it's going to be a short-lived career for you and maybe it's not where you want to be. The path for all of us is the place where we can get excited about fighting through our challenges, not the path where we take the path of least resistance.