In this episode of Claritycast Chris Lema, a seasoned business coach and entrepreneur, shares his unique perspective on the importance of assessments in coaching, offering a fresh take on how these tools can transform coaching practices.

We explored the innovative concept of Motivation Code and Motivation.AI, a groundbreaking approach to understanding personal motivations through past achievements. We also dived into Chris' coaching methods, discussing his strategies for pricing and packaging his services.

This one is full of valuable insights for both seasoned coaches and newcomers.

Topics discussed
  • What is Motivation Code and Motivation.AI?
  • The background and history of SIMA and achievement stories.
  • The importance of assessments in coaching.
  • Chris' coaching practice and how he prices and packages his services.
  • Balancing running a company and offering coaching.
  • Personal energy management for coaches.
Chris Lema
Clarityflow for Coaches
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What is Claritycast?

Interviews with coaches, community-leaders and online course creators. Hear the story behind their journey to coaching, how they develop their coaching practice and grow their client-base and audience in a sustainable (and rewarding) way. Conversations led by Brian Casel, founder of Clarityflow.

A New Way to Use Assessments in Coaching w/ Chris Lema

Brian Casel: [00:00:00] Hey there, Brian Casel here. I'm the founder of Clarityflow, here with another conversation on Claritycast. Talking to my friend, Chris Lema, Chris is a longtime business coach and entrepreneur and business owner and CEO of multiple companies great wide ranging conversation with Chris. As I always have kind of like the 2023 update from Chris.

One of the things that he is involved in right now is a thing called Motivation Code which you can find at Motivation Code. com. Their company motivation motivation, a dot a I, we're gonna Motivation.AI, we're going to get all this linked up in the show notes for you, but we spent a good deal of time talking about assessments.

And this is a new kind of assessment that really draws on your past experience and your past achievements to, to inform who you are and what motivates you. Right. So we [00:01:00] talked about that and assessments in general and how assessments can be used in the coaching practice. And when in, in cases where it might not be so useful for coaches but, you know, this is a really unique way to, to think about motivations, which is really at the core of a lot of different coaching.

We also got heavily into Chris's actual coaching practice and how he prices and packages up his services, how he balances running a company and doing coaching. I hesitate to say on the side, because it's still a significant part of what Chris does and and his identity. And we also talked about, like, energy management you know, your personal energy management to to give yourself and your, and your insights and your energy to multiple different things. One of them being coaching. I know there are many coaches out there who are sort of balancing you know, running a business or working in a job with offering coaching. And we got into that with, with Chris as well.

So really good conversation. Here it is. [00:02:00] My talk with Chris Lema. Enjoy.

Chris Lema, great to connect with you again.

Chris Lema: It's great to see you buddy.

Brian Casel: All right, so, so, you know, you've been a long time coach and we've known each other for several years now. And, you know, we've we've done many different podcasts together. This one I really want to well, I I think, we'll, we'll certainly get into your coaching practice, which you've been doing for, for many years really effectively.

But. The more recent development in your career path has been this thing, Motivations AI, which seems super interesting. I actually had the opportunity to go through the assessment on on Motivations a couple, like last week, and it was really interesting to go through it. So, all right. I mean, like, why don't we start there?

What's going on? Tell, tell me about this thing. Where did it come from? What, what's it all about?

Chris Lema: So in, in the year 2000, I had a buddy take an assessment [00:03:00] and he knew I was a leadership guy. He knew I was big into those kinds of personality assessments. And he goes, I. I took one that will blow your mind and he said it was called SIMA. And it was like you start with these achievements, you know what he called it an achievement story. Things you did where you felt like man time flew by. I was in the zone. I was deeply satisfied. I was given energy rather than having it depleted like he was describing this thing. He's like. So I, I had to write eight of these stories and I had to write like two to three pages per story.

And I'm like, and then, then what happened? He's like, well, this PhD reads it and he connects all the dots. And then he tells me how I'm wired in terms of my motivations. And I'm like, that's incredible. So I go try and find SIMA and it turns out it's available for nasa, Disney it's how they found the, the deans of, of [00:04:00] Princeton and Harvard. alL these big corporate things. Nothing available for the everyday person.

And so I was like, ah, I, I, like, I can't, I can't get ahold of this. But I did take that achievement story dynamic and I started using that in my coaching 23 years ago. I'm like, this is a perfect entrance into how to work with people, is to understand kinda where they're lit up and then, and then move things from there. So, it left an imprint and I've been using achievement stories forever. And then last year I in the middle of changing jobs the, the chairman of the board said you have a, you have a lot of history with companies. I had bought by that point 44 companies and sold seven. And so he was like, if I give you money to deploy, can you, can you, can you do it? And I go, sure.

And then, you know, that was kind of one conversation. And then all of a sudden I, I get pointed to this URL for an assessment [00:05:00] and it's like, you know, three stories and answer some questions, rate, rate some stuff. It's all online and it gives me a, a, a report. And so I tell the guy who's running it, I go, gosh, this is so similar to something that I experienced back in 2000. He goes, oh, SIMA. And I go, yeah. He goes, this is based on SIMA. I go, okay, tell me more.

And what we found out was over the course of 20 years, there had been a lot of little splinters. They'd broken up and, and one had gone into one space like, like they created a new company every time they wanted to go into a different vertical market.

Brian Casel: Mm-Hmm.

Chris Lema: But then every time they went into a different vertical market, they also changed the, the language, the nomenclature. So they were, they were essentially splintering intellectual property rather than bolstering it, right? Like if you had five, if you were in five markets. You were growing the single IP, then people would have heard about it [00:06:00] in, on the other hand, right? They had splintered and splintered and diluted the intellectual property.

And so I said, I wanna buy them all. So last October, I. While I was at my conference you know, and these guys had a lot of different investors and so there was like 27 investors. We had to have them all sign on the same day or else the paperwork falls through you, you, you've been through this, you're just like, okay, if I want to do a deal, I gotta do the deal, right?

And, and it was, they had to sign over all intellectual property. Like if I couldn't buy all of it, I didn't want any of it. But last october.

Brian Casel: And that's like to this concept of, of the assessment of like, like taking, taking

Chris Lema: It's the, it's the underlying science of motivation and the five different companies that had kind of splintered out and had different licenses and, and, iP around this. And so last October we bought them all. And so I bought five companies and merged them into just one which is called Motivations AI. And we are still in three markets. The nonprofit, [00:07:00] Colleges, and in corporate. But in corporate, we made the shift to say I wanna go down market. I don't wanna make this the thing that, you know, Nike and Apple and NASA get to use. I want it to be available and useful for, for anyone.

And and so our first. First, this is back in October. Right. But you and I have had this conversation about Clarityflow for years where I'm like, I love this tool for coaches. And then you went and interviewed a bunch of people who all agreed with me, or at least I agreed with them and we all said, yeah, coaches and you've, and Clarityflow has pivoted to coaches. Well, last October I was like. I want to take SIMA into coaching.

So, we, we said corporate, but our focus would be in, in coaching. So we did two things. We obviously, we went back and refactored the product. And that's called the Motivation Code or the M Code. And you can find that at When you get there you will discover that there's the, you know, you can buy a single assessment. Or you can sign up as a [00:08:00] coach and get up to 200 assessments per month, meaning you can be using it without paying every time you, every time you proctor it. And we, and to make, you know, to make it aware for coaches that we're doing this, we then spun up another website separate from Motivation code called Coach Factory.

Brian Casel: Mm-Hmm.

Chris Lema: And Coach is on its way. It's not there yet, but it's on its way to becoming the single largest online resource for coaches that is absolutely free.

And so it's a, it's a top of the funnel play. It's an aggregation play as you know, when you're moving, you know, Clarityflow into coaches. The challenge is that coaching is a $17 billion game per year, but 16 billion of it is disaggregated. It's all over the place.

So if you're a coach, you end up being like lost. You're floating on an island out in the middle of the ocean and you're like, ah, there's, there's no, there's no places where we aggregate. [00:09:00] There are tools. But there are tons of tools and there is no one, like we all use this tool and there's websites, there's tons of websites, and most of those websites are selling you something. And so then as a coach you're like, well, but I don't know if I'm buying into their methodology. I have my own methodology.

So we said we want to build a central aggregating place for resourcing coaches. Whether they use M Code or not, right? Just an aggregating place so that we pull people together. And so Coach Factory got launched. We have a, a podcast that's just four or five episodes in. We have free resources. We have VIP resources, which you get as a member. But the membership is free. So, that's our way of aggregating. And then eventually we'll show them, Hey, you should use M Code for your coaching 'cause it's really powerful.

Brian Casel: I think it's so exciting what you're doing there. Not only the, the M Code and, and, and like Motivations AI and, and then this Coach Factory community resource for coaches. You know, one, one of the things that I just keep on learning through, through this podcast [00:10:00] and through all my conversations with coaches is, you know. In some ways, like coaches are pretty similar in terms of like how they operate and structure their, their businesses. But there are, it's, it's still, as you say, like it's so fragmented and there's so many different paths and tools that you can go.

And I mean, it, it, it's really growing because it's like there are so many people who have all this expertise and experience in an area or in an industry. wHere coaching is just becoming like an option for them, you know, where, or where they might have all that knowledge and experience kind of locked up in a, in a corporate structure somewhere now, you know, between remote work and asynchronous and online communities and resources and, and people seeking more people seeking coaching these opportunities are, are pretty exciting.

I mean, there are so many different things I can get into with you. One, one of the just assessments in general is an area that like, I'm still sort [00:11:00] of like learning about. But I've had some exposure to it recently through, through your assessment. I, I recently went through a different one and I'm curious to know how are you and, and other coaches using assessments in in the coaching process like. Is this a really common, like starting point? It, it seems like some coaches start with this as like a

Chris Lema: I don't, I don't think it's common.

I think I think what you'll discover is the challenge. Of using an assessment is the variability that happens afterward. So if I assess, let's, let's, let's make up an assessment, right? And, and I go, okay, I'm a coach and you're my, my coaching client, and you show up and I go, Hey, I'm a business coach and I'm excited to work with you and I'm excited about your business and what you're up to. So let's get together. First take this assessment. I want you to answer five questions, and at the end of these five questions I'm gonna know what color is is [00:12:00] is you like, what? Are you blue? Are you red? Are you green? Are you yellow? Whatever. It's the implicit assumption with starting with that kind of assessment is that my moves in coaching, you will now change. Based on your result. The way I coach Blue is different than the way I coach. Red is different than the way I coach Green, and that's what makes it super complicated.

Because if you are a coach who says, I have a framework, I have a process, I'm gonna move you through this process, what you're often saying is, I'm gonna move you through this process regardless of what color you are and and the hard part about that is we end up then having to build a pre-sales mechanism that figures out If my, if my system's really good for blue, then my presales mechanism is to find all the blues and get rid of all the yellows and reds. 'cause I don't wanna look like a, a dud, right? I don't want this to not work.

Early in [00:13:00] my coaching career, I, I, I started coaching a woman. It failed miserably. It, it lasted two sessions. And the second session we go in and, and I'm, and she's like, well, I, I don't learn by reading. So that thing you sent me to read, I didn't read.

Brian Casel: Hmm.

Chris Lema: And I go, okay, what about the video I sent you? I, I don't learn by watching videos. I'm like, okay. You don't learn by reading. You don't learn by watching videos. Um, well, we had this conversation. Did you, did you process the insight that came? No, I, I don't spend a lot of time reflecting and I'm like, I, I don't know what you want me to do here. Like, you cut off my arms and legs, like I can't help.

What years later, what I discovered is that there's a whole group of people who only learn by doing. In which, in which case, in which case, you can't give them the here's to read and here's to watch. You go here, do this, and then they go do it. And then they're like, oh, my hands were in the soil and I figured something out. Right?

[00:14:00] But I didn't know that at the time, and so I was just like, I'm sorry, I, I can't help you. Right. So assessments are an advanced approach in, in most cases. I think because they presume that the coach then knows how to shape or adjust or change how they approach someone predicated on, on their results.

Now with Motivation we believe that once you know someone's M Code, you can rethink how you approach it, but it's not gonna be for every coach. 'Cause some coach is like, no, I, I know what I do on week one and I know what I do on week two. I'm the extreme opposite of that, which is I have 72 different frameworks, right?

Like, there's no, there's no, we're not gonna start in the same place every time. We're gonna figure out what you need and we're gonna adjust and use that. That's, I, I have discovered over time, that's not everybody. But I think when it comes to an assessment, if you find one that works for you, that allows you to pivot [00:15:00] and go, oh, okay. If they are in the, in the Motivation world.. If you're a driver, if you are someone who wants to just tackle a problem and go to the next one. It's like running hurdles. You jump over one and you're ready for the next. And then, and a driver is like, give me the task list. So when I am working with a driver, I'm going to give them things to do.

If you're an optimizer, you're, you're not looking for tons of things to do, but you're, look, the challenge is how do you get you know, how do you improve efficiency? How do you get a little bit better? How do, and so you want to give them a problem and give them time to work it through and make it better. And so, I find the M Code incredibly powerful for coaches, but I. You might find that great with, with Enneagram, or you might find it with StrengthFinder. You might find it with something else where you go. This assessment really helps me. And then, and then I'm, I'm all for saying to the coach, use it. Use whatever works for you that helps you get better connected with customers.

Brian Casel: It's really interesting. I I haven't done that many assessments. I've just [00:16:00] done a couple, and that was the most recent one, the Motivations one that I, that I've done. And one of the things that I found interesting, I don't know if this is common among other, other ones, but Motivations, . It actually required, it actually asked me to, to just freeform write answers.

And, and it was sort of like the, the same cycle, I think, four or five times. Right. And you know, like, like, recalling a, a, a time in my life that that gave me a lot of energy and, and there's much more to it than that. But I thought it was really interesting. You know, other assessments that I've had were much more like true or false answers or, or multiple choice.

Chris Lema: It's so so that's the, that's the core reason why I think M Code's different.

Brian Casel: And, And, that, that was the thing was like, I, I think just the, the act of going through it was kind of illuminating of,

Chris Lema: The act of defining.

Brian Casel: things that, that I find important to think about. You know,

Chris Lema: The act of defining your achievement stories is in and of themselves, incredibly powerful. That's part one. The other part is we're not making up scenarios. In almost every personality test that you take, it says [00:17:00] on a Friday night, would you like to stay at home and read a book because you have no friends? Or Would you like to go out, drink, party, and end up in jail? And the first response is, well, okay, hold on a second. Those are really extreme.

Brian Casel: Right

Chris Lema: like, I I like, why, why are they so extreme? The second is, I choose different things on different Friday nights. How, how do I do this? Right? So we don't make up scenarios. All of the questions in the M Code are predicated on your achievement stories. And so we've had folks come out and just say just defining, just thinking about and defining four achievement stories in my life was just illuminating.

Just to go back and go, wow, how come, how come those things are so powerful, and yet I'm not shaping my life to do more of those things. And,

and I, talked

Brian Casel: I mean, I I found myself pulling stuff from when I was a kid from when I was a teenager, you know, decades ago. And it's like, why am I even thinking about that right now in my forties? You know? [00:18:00] So, okay, so Motivations AI as a, it's like, what, right now for you in 2023? What is sort of like the, the pie chart of your time and effort and, and, and areas, like, we've, we've got Motivations, we've got your coaching what else is going on in, in,

Chris Lema: So, so I am, I am the Chief Product Officer for a technology company called Cherith. And that is where I help design some products and leverage some technology. It is focused in the faith tech space. And about about 15% of my week is spent running that it's, it's pretty lightweight because we have people executing on things and I'm just at the top of that.

I spend another 75% of my time as the CEO of Motivations AI, which includes Motivation Code and Coach Factory, and TruMotivate and TruCenter, which are different brands [00:19:00] for the different segments we're in. I'm the CEO of that. And that is wholly owned by Cherith. Meaning my job in one allowed me to spin up and build this company and, and take that as my main job.

So, so let's say 75% there, and I think I said 15% on the other. That gets us to 90, I think, if I'm doing math right. And so then 10% or i 8% remaining is coaching. And 2% is running a conference I run every year called CaboPress.

So four hats. If you know me every single day, whether I'm indoors or outdoors, I'm wearing a hat. So I'm really comfortable. But I've been coaching for more than 20 years. I've been running CaboPress for 10 years. I've been leading product development and, and the stuff I do with Cherith for more than 25 years. So, all of it feels very comfortable. I'm feeling very,

Brian Casel: And it's all very connected, right? Obviously

Chris Lema: And they're all, and they all leverage each other. And so I'm, I'm very much comfortable in my shoes. Not one of those [00:20:00] roles ends up being stressful or friction inducing. And one of my buddies who, who has been a coach and ran a product company and I coached for a period of time is one of my good friends, Shawn Hesketh, who used to run WP101, but he sold it and he joined me at Motivations AI and, shawn is inside the company and watching me run Motivations AI. And and he's like, Hey, you're doing all the stuff that you told me to do as a coach. Like, I'm watching you do all the, like, you use this framer for this, and you're, and I'm like, of course. Like, why,


Brian Casel: Yeah.

Chris Lema: why wouldn't I, you know, eat, eat my own dog food? Right. And they were like, yeah, but that's not how it always works. I'm, he's like, now I get a front row seat, like I'm watching you put it all together. And I'm like, yeah, it's fun, but it's not hard. Right. It's, it's fun because you're like, I know the plays. I got the playbook. Let's go put this together and make it happen.

Brian Casel: It's been really cool to, to see this develop and, and, and come up over the past year. You know, and [00:21:00] just the fact that you're, you're working with Shawn and, and I think Jennifer Bourn and, and the rest of the team there. It just seems like you're . It seems like your, your crew is actually coming together and, and putting some, putting something really, really cool together here. Um, I'm, I'm really excited to see how this develops.

Why don't we get into your actual coaching a little bit. Even though it, it's sort of a, a small portion of the pie chart, I feel like it informs everything that you do. And it, it's probably one of the things that you, that, from what I understand, like even throughout all your, your, throughout your career, you've had all these different positions at different companies, but like the coaching has been the constant, you know. Um, what

Chris Lema: you have

Brian Casel: know,

one thing that

Chris Lema: have to do some work first,

Brian Casel: wonder about

Chris Lema: Like,

Brian Casel: and with many other coaches is

Chris Lema: I see guys

Brian Casel: do you have the energy , you know, to, to give all these other people? Because it, I mean, just, just this one call that we're on today, like right now, this is gonna like, wipe me out for the rest of the day.

You know, , like, like, so like how, how does this actually work from an energy standpoint?

Chris Lema: Yeah, well, I if I [00:22:00] didn't love if I didn't love this, if I didn't love sitting down with someone and, and realizing in this moment, in this one transactional call, in, in, in the, in the 30 to 40 minutes that we're gonna have together, I. The puzzle is how do I deliver value to you? It's not about me. It's not about my history and my experience. It's about delivering something to you that has the potential to pivot or change what you're doing and increase your chance of success tenfold. A hundredfold, right? And, and if that puzzle. Right. The thinking behind it, the evaluation, the, okay, I think I have an aha moment, but now what are the stories that you back, you know, you back into to go, let me start with a story and then get you to the aha and then see if it hits for you. If that wasn't energy giving, then I probably would've stopped coaching in year one, right?

But, but a lot of what we do, a lot of what you do, a lot of what [00:23:00] I do in our day-to-Day jobs is rinse and repeat. There is nothing. There is nothing good that happens by just having one at bat. There is nothing that we don't find success because we just walked up to the plate, hit a gr, you know, hit a a grand slam and walked off. That's not how it works. Right? The best baseball players. Hit one third of the time, right? I mean, you just have to keep doing the work.

The problem for me is that while I have all the drive and all the perseverance to do that mentally, that's not always stimulating, right? Mentally it's like I gotta write another blog post, or I gotta record another video, or I have to have another meeting and navigate a strategy. And if, and if that doesn't fuel you or give you the energy, then you gotta figure out what does. And so for me, what I've discovered is. All of that puzzle of, okay, how do I, how do I help Brian? How do I drive it forward? What is the biggest roadblock Brian has to his total success? [00:24:00] Okay. What does that mean then? How do we backtrack? How do you, what's the aha, and all that puzzling all in real time 'cause you can't be like, Hey, it was great chatting with you three days later. Here's this idea I had for you. Right? It's, it's dance monkey dance. It's, right now it's pressure, it's figure out how to deliver. And that for me is energizing.

Right? And so then I'm like, oh, I love this. Like, book another call.

Brian Casel: You know, I, I totally relate to that. I, I don't do coaching myself with other people, but I, I am in a couple of mastermind groups and I go to places like CaboPress and everything, and, and one, I find it so refreshing to, to just dive into somebody else's business for, for a couple hours. You know, like it's, it's, it's literally like a, not that I'm relaxing, but it is a break for me from, from my own stuff that I'm dealing with day to day, to, to really like, dig in with someone else and, and understand what they're going through right now, what's on their plate.

It's, it's, there's, I think for . You know, business folks, entrepreneurs [00:25:00] like us, like our, our brains are always turning and finding problems to try and solve. Right? And it's just kind of refreshing to solve somebody else's problems than the ones that we we're looking at

Chris Lema: Well, if you if you take coaching out of it, if I, if I didn't coach, I would have, you know, hundreds of frameworks and no place to use them.

Brian Casel: Right.

Chris Lema: Right. You have, you have these models or ideas or ways to think about things or stories. You know, I, I just went to a, a, a relatively large conference last weekend and 1500 people are there and I must have had 400 conversations. And in every conversation I'm using a different metaphor, a different approach, a different strategy, a different something. And I just think. Without that. Now, those weren't coaching calls. Those were just individual call conversations, but without that venue to do those things. Then you go, what, what am I doing with this? Right?

And, and so I found that coaching is a [00:26:00] great way to engage, but also a gateway to release the stuff that's bubbling inside that you're like here. You know? And when I, when I did my blog back, uh. Not, not two years ago, but, but 10 years ago, I guess, where I wrote every day, right? 2013. It was 'cause I'd moved, I'd moved from Northern California to Southern California. I was in San Diego. I had no more coaching clients and I had all the stories and no, no venue to place them. And so I was like, well, I'll just go to my blog and just start writing and just crank out one article a day.

Brian Casel: So for folks listening who, who maybe they are in a job or maybe they're running a business, you know, for, with like most of the, the time in that pie chart, right? But they're, but they have something to offer as a coach. Maybe they're, they're interested in move in, in transitioning into, into more coaching.

How do you handle it? Like logistically? Like, not just like energy wise, but like . I don't know, like even just like dealing with hours and splitting up your, your days and your weeks between [00:27:00] giving it to your job or your business versus like taking on a couple of clients or coaching groups or whatever it might be.

Chris Lema: Yeah, that's a, that's a great question. So for me, it's not, it's not the same for everyone. But I start my day at nine, my workday, which means I have a seven o'clock spot and an eight o'clock spot. I. On, on most weekdays. Now, I don't like to do seven or eight on Friday mornings because Thursday nights I stay out late at a cigar lounge and smoke cigars till one in the morning. And so that would make it harder to do a bunch of Friday morning calls, but I know, that I have, yeah, priorities.

I, I like, I I should have said, well take the whole pie, cut it in half. The other half is smoking cigars. Right.

buT but. You go, okay, so I know I have a 7:00 AM and an 8:00 AM and that's also when I'm fresh, I'm the sharpest.

And I go, okay, let's, let's get, you know, so we can do a couple calls there. I do a lot of every other week calls. And, and I a lot, let me, let me clarify. I think I probably have [00:28:00] eight, nine ongoing clients right at this moment, right? At any given point, some are coming off and some are going on, but I try not to get past 10 because there's just not enough. There's not enough hours, right? There's a physical logistics challenge.

So if you're doing, let's say you have 10 clients and you're doing every other week, that means five in week one, five in week two. So then you're like, oh, okay, so then I could do seven. Or eight across the week. But some people are like, I don't have that time. So then I do I'll go till about four o'clock. I. On the workday. And so at four o'clock I will go, oh, I have a four o'clock, I have a five o'clock. And some people are like, I'm, I'm great for that five o'clock. And so I split it between mornings and later afternoons. I try not to do from two to four is my lowest energy time. And so I try not to put, anything important, corporate or or coaching. And by important I mean anything where I have to be highly involved with high energy. So [00:29:00] if I'm one of 12 people in a meeting and I'm just listening, I can be in that meeting at any, you know, two to four is great for that. But I try and keep everything else out.

And then I, I, I could not tell you how I do this without mentioning Clarityflow because the, the game I play is, Hey, you get a call every other week. and then you get access to me asynchronously through Clarityflow. And so with Clarityflow, what happens is I go, here's a channel for just you. And when you have a question, you go in there. And when I have time, asynchronously, I will answer it and give you new things to think about, upload videos or record a video. And, that's absolutely fantastic. Right?

So those are the two things, right? Figuring out the time slots and, and then using an asynchronous video tool like Clarityflow to keep the flow going in between. anD I charge a high price, which allows me to make really good money on 10 clients. If you were just getting started, you might have to charge less. and then work your way up [00:30:00] over time. And that's, you know, I, I tell that to everyone. Like, you don't, you don't wake up and go, I, I'm an expert, so I deserve this much money. the the money part of the equation is predicated on what someone else values the problem at, not how much your expertise you think is worth.

Brian Casel: I really like the combo of like the, the live calls every two weeks and, and plus like asynchronous access. I, I, I see a lot of coaches doing that, and I, I think just practically it, it works really well. Not again, like not just for the convenience factor, but it's like you can cover some ground in between the sessions with like, I, I would imagine that it's like, here are some upcoming questions that I'm thinking about that we could touch on next time or, alright, we just had our call yesterday, the next day or two, some aha moments came up and, and, and I can get those across without waiting another two weeks when, when I'll probably forget them, you know?

Chris Lema: Yep.

Brian Casel: Love it.

I mean, again, you've, you've been doing this a long time. I've been asking a lot of coaches about, you sort of just got into it, but what [00:31:00] are some of the tweaks or the improvements that you've made in your coaching practice, whether it's logistically tools or even just your approach to, to coaching and working with people that were, I don't know, that you might look back on as like major turning points where things started to really click whether it's recent or going back.

Chris Lema: Yeah. One of the biggest ones was about, I dunno, five, six years ago, where I, I created multiple plans. So I used to have just twice a month. I mean, I was just, it felt like enough, it felt like the right pace. I was very comfortable, and every now and then someone would say, I just want like a monthly check-in.

Brian Casel: Mm-Hmm.

Chris Lema: And I'm like, yeah, that doesn't sound like coaching. So go, go talk to someone else. Because it just didn't feel like the same thing. And eventually I introduced a one call a month plan, and then I had others who were like I want, I want every week. How do I get, I, I want more of this. I wanna keep, like, you're giving me [00:32:00] stuff to push on, I'm turning it around the next day. And so I introduced you know, four times a month or every week call.

And just, just having those options, right? Creating those options. A, a playlist that goes, we can do four, we can do two, we can do one really allowed some people to step in at one and then climb to two, and then climb to four. People who said, no, I wanna start at four, and then after two months I'd like to back down to two. And you go, all of that is fine. Right? So that was helpful. And then I, you know, every, I think every two to three years, someone will say can I have you be on a daily call,

Brian Casel: Hmm.

Chris Lema: And, and, and I go, I go Okay. Yeah, that's, I mean, that's, that's way more money. And, but this one guy was like, I wanna do 30 minutes every night at 10:00 PM And I'm like, that slot is open, right? Like, there's nobody that wants to talk to me at 10:00 PM And he was, he was in another part of the world. And it was Monday through Thursday 10:00 PM for half an hour. [00:33:00] It was that way for a year. Right.

But that single that single coaching client was, was doing, you know, like 15K a month or something, and you're just like,

Brian Casel: Incredible.

Chris Lema: Okay, that's like, if you want, right? But what you discover is and I, I've said this before and I'll keep repeating myself. It's not, it's never about you. right? You think I have material and I have insight, and I have expertise. It's never about you. It is always about them. And so they may say, I do better in the morning than the evening, or they may say, I do better in the evening, in the morning. Or they may say, I need every single week. Or they may say, I need just once a month check-in. Whatever it is. It, it was the, it was the paradigm shift. And it started with me just, you know, I, I knew it's all about them, but over time you start realizing that it's all about them really affects every part of your practice. And so eventually you get to this place where you're like, yeah, let me craft packages that makes sense for you. I don't announce,

Brian Casel: Sorry, go ahead.

Chris Lema: I don't announce the everyday call [00:34:00] one on anywhere, right? Like someone has to come clamor for it, but. I do create multiple steps, you know, in a product ladder so that people can decide where they want to be.

Brian Casel: I mean, I've, I've heard you speak about this idea of like a product ladder and, and pricing and packaging in, in all sorts of products. Right. But I, I am interested about in, as we start to wrap up here, like, maybe on, on that same note, like how have you handled like packaging and pricing your, your coaching?

Like, do you do things where like. I've seen really different ways coaches handle this. Some are just like, you know, session by session as, as you need it. Go, you know, turn it on, turn it off. There are others who do sort of a commitment. Others who sell it in a package of four sessions or a quarterly set or quarterly set or whatever it might be.

How do you think about those different things and you know, you, you've spoken a lot about taking pricing and packaging and matching it to a type of customer segment. Right? Like, how do you think about that? Like in, in your coaching?[00:35:00]

Chris Lema: Yeah. Yeah, it's, it's absolutely right on. And, and I will tell you that I have, I have a three month commitment that is part of all my programs, right? Like, you need to, you, when you're signing up, you need to sign up for three months because I can't do magic. Like we can't have, I mean, I will try every time to have one call and knock it outta the park, but at the end of the day, my insight is one 10th of the equation. The other nine-tenths is your execution. So even if I give you the insight, you do nothing with it. It's not gonna, it's not gonna change everything.

And so, I have this three month minimum. I have never once held someone to that three month minimum. If they're two months in and they realize I'm not ready. to make these changes. Can I pause or something cataclysmic happens in their business. Their partner exits the business, and now they're like, I, I don't have time for this. I just have to survive. You know?

Brian Casel: But at least like the assumption is we're gonna, we're gonna go for at least three

Chris Lema: [00:36:00] So, so what I do is I work with the assumption and I anchor on the assumption, but I never hold any, there's no written agreement that says. You owe me the third month if you quit after two, right? I've never held anyone to that, but I'm just trying to anchor them to, it takes a little bit, it takes a quarter to, to see the adjustments and the ramifications of that.

I am a huge fan of, of microsegmentation and packaging and pricing that go with it. What I know is that where you are in the stage of your business impacts where you can, you know, what you can pay and what you're doing. So I am most comfortable if you have crossed the $500,000 a year revenue line and you're not yet at the 20, $25 million line, right? If you're in that space. You can pay my fees and, and we can give you real leverage and you can move forward. So what happens if you're under that? Like you're, you're making 200 grand and you're trying to get to 500 grand and you need help. [00:37:00] So completely separate from my coaching plans, I created the over at Clarity which is Clarity.Fm, right? An old Dan Martel business that he sold. At Clarity.Fm, I, I do transactional calls.

Brian Casel: Oh, you do that? I didn't know you were on Clarity.Fm.

Chris Lema: Oh, Yeah.

I think, I think I'm still, like, I, I've slowed down the last year or two, but up about three years ago, I was the second or third most called person on that network. Um, and, and so,

Brian Casel: What are those like? Like do you, do you get totally new people who've never heard of you? Or do people like who know you, like seek you out on there?

Chris Lema: B both ha half and half. Actually probably two thirds don't know me, they just find me through Clarity. The other third get routed over there when they, they pinging me and I go, here are my plans. And if this with no shame, if this is too expensive, there's a per minute service at Clarity fm that you, that you can sign up for and we can book a call.

Now, the booking of the call is totally at my [00:38:00] discretion. It's not, you know, I'm not rushing to fit that like I'll put it in and be like, oh, next Tuesday at at 2:00 PM 'cause I have nothing going on at that point. It's also discontinuous, meaning if you call me and we do a call and then you call three weeks later and they're like, you remember me?

And I'm like, no. I, I don't, right. Which is very different than when I get involved in my coaching clients. So I draw that segment line and I go, if you're below this, this may be really economical for you. And there's no shame in that. But also it's transactional. You're not gonna get Clarityflow access to me. There's no asynchronous, you're not connecting to my network. You're not invited to my conferences. Like coaching has its privileges. This is a transactional piece. On average those calls may be like 200 bucks.

Brian Casel: Mm-Hmm.

Chris Lema: And so if you're paying 10 bucks a minute and you do a 20 minute call, 200 bucks versus thousands, you're like, this is a bargain. And you go,

Brian Casel: Yeah, that could be good for like a, like a quick, quick, quick take on something. So, Chris, I mean, always a ton of value and insight here. We can [00:39:00] obviously go on for, for hours on, on any of these different rabbit holes here, but you know, Chris Motivations We're gonna get all this stuff

Chris Lema: Motivation, Coach I mean, there's, there's, especially for coaches, go check out Coach Become a VIP member. Go check out motivation Take it for yourself. Single assessment. If you love it, join the subscription. It's $99 a month and it gives you 200 assessments you can use with your clients. And if you want to figure out How do I use it with my clients? How do I make most use? We're creating a training course for that. So that'll be out soon.

And I'm always available to help you put it to practice, but we're teaching people how to use it in their proposals, how to use it in their deals, how to use it in their coaching, how to use it in corporate transformation team development, team selection. We're putting this Motivation, the Motivational Dimensions into everything we're doing.

Brian Casel: Awesome. Well, Chris, thanks so much for doing this and yeah, look forward to connecting again.

Chris Lema: [00:40:00] Awesome. Take care buddy.

Brian Casel: So that wraps up today's episode of Claritycast. I hope you were able to get a few nuggets of clarity to help you grow your coaching business. You can watch the videos of these conversations on our YouTube channel, like, and subscribe to us there. And I'd really appreciate if you'd give the Claritycast podcast a five star review in iTunes, that really helps us reach more folks like you.

Today's episode was brought to you by our product, Clarityflow. Try it for free at Clarityflow. com, or you can book a free demo and consultation call to see how you can grow your coaching business on Clarityflow. Thanks for tuning in. I'll see you next time.