I must admit that I had always been a bit biased when it came to coaching and coaches. As an individual who considered counseling as a profession, I believed counselors and coaches were very different. The two fields have blurred and coaches often “counsel” and work with clients on things that I believe should be handled by a professionally trained psychologist.

Having worked in direct sales for most of my adult life, I have been coached and trained by the best of the best, and the worst of the worst. I’ve seen behind the sparkly curtain. The person on stage was positive, motivating, respectable, even wise.  But behind the scenes, they could be controlling, dismissive, self-important, and not very kind. Charlatans, disguised as coaches who promised the world, and delivered a lot of flash, but little substance.

The price of coaching seemed inflated. Some coaches billed obscene amounts of money teaching things that they themselves did not practice in their “real lives”.  I likened coaching to shady influencers who make money recommending, prescribing, and using their charisma and charm to manipulate sales and teach unsavory ways to motivate.

These impostors often left behind disenfranchised, and unhappy clients in their wake.  For every over-joyed convert, there were dozens who had paid hard-earned money chasing a dream and ultimately felt even worse about themselves afterwards. They came for help and were indirectly told that their lack of success was their own fault.  Instead of the coach taking their hand a walking a journey together, their coach hit them over their head with a hammer and left them behind, beaten down, and alone on their path.

So, with that background, why would I ever take a coaching class? Because I knew the founders of DSWA and I had been at an event with Nicki Keohohou and she said, “try this, I really think it could support you”. Skeptical, I paid my fee and signed up for the next Level 1 coaching class.

What did I find?  A community of people who really cared about serving others.  A teacher who focused on supporting clients discover their own paths, not leading people down the path she thinks you should be on. Coaching school was not about how to make the most money in the fastest way possible, but about how to create a business where serving people could ultimately make a difference for you too.

I really enjoyed being challenged, learning that one simple word change really changes the entire question.  Reminders to keep things open, not jump to conclusions, stay curious and listen; always listen first. Thinking to always be curious, asking who, what, where, how, and when; instead of why, should, would, could, can, did, are and have.

As a consultant, I have found that applying my new coaching language to what could have been uncomfortable, awkward, and challenging situations has proven to be a new tool in my tool belt. I am better prepared, more confident, and have learned more about the people that I interact with every day. By staying curious, asking questions, and finding out the “whys” behind a situation often lead to better outcomes, and the people involved feeling heard, and taking more ownership.

My advice to someone looking to be coached? Want to be sure the price you pay is worth it? Find out how they were trained, and by whom.  Learn if they are certified and by what organization? Ask their methods and successes, and failures before hiring anyone to coach you. If DSWA was their certification, then I would endorse them one hundred percent!

I am forever grateful to Nicki Keohohou for her subtle invitation to becoming a better me, and have thoroughly enjoyed my last 6 months learning, practicing, applying, and finding new joy in every day.


Sue has built a career helping other entrepreneurs achieve their dreams by helping companies grow from pre-launch to millions in sales. She has held positions such as Chief Customer Officer, COO, Vice President of Distributor Services and Relations.  She has served as a business consultant to over 100 start-ups and growing companies with her business, Keep the People (KTP), a consulting and coaching company for the direct sales industry.  She specializes in using AIRE (awards, incentives, recognition, and events) and exceptional customer experience to help companies attract, retain, and grow their people.

Sue@ktpconsulting.com  602-290-8334