Alex Terranova is the founder of DreamMason Inc. in California. We hope you enjoy this interview!
Coaching Focus: My current practice is powerful, fun, and impactful. Successful male leaders seek me out as their coach because their achievements and financial successes have not created the rewarding, joyful, and fulfilling life and business they desire. And what’s the point of money, power, or a relationship if you don’t love your life?
Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
Tell us about your journey as a coach.
I started as a coach in 2015 when I said yes to Accomplishment Coaching‘s year-long coaching and transformation program. I didn’t even realize I wanted to be a coach. I had a successful career as an executive in the hospitality business, but I wasn’t happy. I was frustrated with life, my job, my finances, and who I was as a person, and I knew I needed to transform. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made because it transformed my life in almost unfathomable ways.
And I must say, those first three years as a coach were rough! People might think that becoming a successful coach and making money in this field is easy. But for most people, it’s not. In those early years, there was so much rejection, fear, anxiety, disappointment, tears, and feelings of failure. Even though my practice kept growing, getting to six figures, my first big goal took a lot out of me, and I wasn’t prepared for that 3-year journey.
Looking back, I’m glad I dared to hire experienced coaches I didn’t think I could afford and enroll in training programs that were confronting and expensive.
We want to destigmatize talking about money, including how much coaches make. Would you please share with our readers any relevant revenue figures from your business?
In my first year as a coach, I made less than 20K, and I was living in New York City. It was scary! I leveraged debt to float my life and business. It’s not for everyone, but it got me through.
While it took over three years for me to hit six figures, my business hasn’t stopped growing since, and every year has been my best financial year to date. To think, not even eight years later, I make more in a month than I did my whole first year as a coach!
My first clients paid me between $5 and $100 a session, and now clients often pay me 20K to work with them for six months. That growth feels astounding and makes me proud of what I’ve created business-wise for myself. And that my clients work with me year over year and keep coming back because of the results they are achieving is something I can be proud of.
What courses, programs, or certifications have you done? Would you recommend them, and for whom?
I’ve done a lot of online training and courses, but I think the best thing I’ve ever done to develop myself as a coach was Accomplishment Coaching. I firmly believe they are the best coaching training available.
I also believe in what the International Coaching Federation (ICF) is doing to support coaching so it can be seen as a powerful and respectable profession. I think all coaches and clients could benefit from coaches with ICF certification. It’s not that the certification means something special, but the value is in the process and the growth one has to empower to garner the credentials, especially the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and Master Certified Coach (MCC) credentials.
What advice or perspective might you give to a new coach trying to get her first clients? Any advice they should ignore?
Don’t look for the get rich quick or how to get famous routes. That’s the trap that so many new coaches fall into, the funnels, the social media gimmicks, the programs for new coaches telling them they will get them to six figures, thinking you need to write a book or launch a podcast ASAP…blah blah blah! These things are like lottery tickets; they might hit once in a while, but they aren’t effective in long-term success for most of us. They often are actually a distraction from what is effective, which is practicing coaching consistently.
What makes someone great at something? Doing it. Practicing it over and over. So hire a great experienced coach who will challenge you. Maybe even do what I did and hire the coach you want to become before you think you are ready and let them support and guide you.
Make money secondary to garnering skills and experience, and the money will come. If you become a great coach through practice, you will get paid great money for coaching, and getting clients will take care of itself.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
It’s all about the experience. We get so wrapped up in our goals, the things we want, and trying not to get distracted by the world’s issues, our fears, or whatever drama is going on in our lives that we often forget about the experience we are having. So we either accomplish our goals, or we don’t, but most of us miss the journey, which was most of our life.
Since we can’t control outcomes, I say make the experience the top priority. Decide what kind of experience you want to have in your life and coaching practice. Is it fun, playful, loving, suspenseful, educational, or an adventure? It could be any type of experience.
Then look at what you are committed to in this life. Write down your commitments. Then as you look at the experience you want to have and what you are committed to, ask yourself what would those things produce? That’s the goal.
But my suggestion isn’t to go for the goal, it’s to live into and be your experience and your commitments, and the goal will produce itself. And if it doesn’t, you won’t care because you got the experience you wanted anyway, which is 99% of the ride. And if it does get you the goal, it’s like a double win!
This article was written by the Life Coach Magazine staff. We cover everything from personal development, to coaching tips, to how to grow your coaching business. Follow us on Instagram or sign up for our emails!