37. High Profit Thinking Part 6: CRABS

37. High Profit Thinking Part 6: CRABS

If you’re struggling to make more money, you are probably looking around for support, and finding opposition instead. This episode zeroes in on the entrepreneurial opposition known as Crabs. The “crabs” in your life are the folks who try to pull you down, when you’re trying to rise. Listen to find out what to do about them.


  • The two kinds of Crabs who oppose your business efforts
  • Why soft-shelled crabs aren’t that damaging
  • What to say to soft-shelled crabs to get them on your side
  • The two kinds of hard-shelled crabs that cause the most damage
  • How the High Profit Power Spectrum helps you determine how to solve a lack of support
  • The worst kind of crabs, and where they come from




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Welcome to Episode 37 of How to Make More Money, a podcast that helps you get seriously good at the game of making serious money. I’m your host, Kelly Hollingsworth, and I’m thrilled you’re here because we are continuing our discussion about high-profit thinking. In this series of episodes, we’re discussing the exact process of using your mind to make more money by dialing down fear and mitigating or eliminating risk, and thereby dialing up your desire, willingness and ability to get onto the field of business, so you can start playing a bigger game, and start winning a bigger game.

If you were with us last time, you know that we were discussing the lack of support in your business. When you’re contemplating a new world and the idea of creating it, you may find yourself looking around for support from friends, family members, colleagues, and acquaintances. When you look for this, is this what you get? No. Generally you get the opposite. You get opposition, and it comes in three forms: Caretakers, Crabs, and Cults.

Last time, we discussed the caretakers–the well-meaning folks who take work away from you and do it themselves. We are born with a desire to create a better world, and the willingness to not just do the work necessary to bring it to life, but also a desire to do the work. As humans, we come into the world with the desire to roll up our sleeves and make things happen. Where does this desire go? If your desire to work has gone missing from your life, it’s only ever because it has been groomed out of you. This process begins with our caretakers. We discussed this last time.

If you had this going on in your formative years, you are not alone. The problem is pandemic. So, what’s the solution? The solution is to recognize that feeling afraid of work kills more fortunes in the making than anything else, and it makes you depressed. When we are engaged, we feel amazing. When we are disengaged from our work, we feel terrible. Why? So many reasons, but here are a few. For one thing, the work is there and not getting done, which creates a sense of foreboding and overwhelm and deep regret that your life is going by, but your life’s work is not getting done.

And it feels terrible to know you could be doing something to help solve the problem you were put on this earth to solve, but you’re not solving it. And not coincidentally, it also feels terrible to want and need money. If you want and need money that you don’t have right now, the first place to go in solving that problem is rolling up your sleeves and getting to work. If that desire to work is dormant inside of you, you probably will feel too tired to do work. This fatigue will prevent you from working. The low profit thought in that arena will be, “I just don’t have the energy.” If this is you, please know that money is a form of stored energy. Why do I say this? Because you can use money to move mountains. You can use it to do that now, or at whatever point in the future that you may want or need to do so.

If you are feeling low energy, not working, or not fully engaged in your work and therefore, not fulfilling your purpose on this planet and therefore, also not making money, don’t wait for the fatigue to dissipate before you get started. The fatigue is a sign that you need to get started. You need to roll up your sleeves, roll around in your work, and start serving your people and getting some money, some stored energy, rolling in the door. That will cure your fatigue. So, that’s how I suggest you dispense with entrepreneurial damage that is brought about by well-meaning but misguided caretakers.

Today, we’re going to discuss another fortune-killing problem, and it’s the crabs. Who are the crabs? There’s an anecdote running through the self-development and coaching world that crabs who are held captive in a bucket will prevent each other from escaping the bucket. Some of the crabs will try to get out, and the others who are closer to the bottom or deeper inside the bucket, will pull them back in. I’m sure you’ve heard this anecdote before. When crabs are piled up in a bucket, and one crab tries to get out, the other crabs will yank him back in.

Why does this happen? I found an *article on Psychology Today by Loretta G. Breuning, PhD, that said that crabs did not evolve in buckets but rather on beaches, obviously. On these beaches, one crab clinging to others promoted survival. Dr. Breuning wrote that, “[a] crab is not consciously trying to hold back its mates. It is not consciously trying to save them, either. It is just repeating a pattern of behavior that was naturally selected for.” The article goes on to very accurately point out that humans are not crustaceans. Nonetheless, the manner in which crabs pull each other back into a bucket has been used as an analogy for the concept that when you are trying to grow in one area of your life or another, humans around you will pull you back down. When this happens, we describe that behavior using the phrase, crabs in a bucket.

Where are the crabs in your life? For most folks, crabs are everywhere. We have a few caretakers in our lives: Parents, grandparents, the folks who love us so much that they take work away from us and do it themselves. Caretakers are few and far between, but we encounter many crabs in our lives. Fortunately, most of the crabs are just scattered around on the beach, and they have little or nothing to do with us.

For example, the crabs who are our friends and many, if not most, of the other folks with whom we spend our time are just scattered around the beaches and they’re not really affecting us. But when we want to make a move, these crabs will approach us and they will yank on us a little bit. The crabs who do this are the most obvious and innocuous kind of crabs. They are our friends who express passing concern about our plans and ideas. These crabs are fairly soft-shelled, meaning, they’re easy to deal with.

For example, in the movie Legally Blonde*, when Elle announces she’s going to Harvard, her friends initially tried to talk her out of it. Isn’t law school hard? Aren’t the LSATs some kind of disease? But then, when Elle is determined to go to Harvard, and certain that her plan will work to get the love of her life back, her friends change their tune. Elle’s friend Margot removes the lucky scrunchie from her hair, hands it over to Elle, and this symbolizes that Margot (and Elle’s other friend, Serena) are behind her all the way.

What can we glean from this? When you’re dealing with a soft-shelled crab, there’s an easy antidote– Your own certainty about what you’re doing, and certainty is easy with soft-shelled crabs. In our minds, soft-shelled crabs aren’t our superiors. They aren’t our mentors or guides. Rather, they are our peers. They are folks whom we do not take all that seriously. Why not? Because we are not, in fact, in a bucket with them. They are just milling around on the beach of our lives. And so, it’s absolutely not a problem for us when they say, “Isn’t that thing you’re doing going to be a problem?” To this, it’s very easy to say, “Nope, I don’t think it’s going to be a problem. I’m going for it.”

When the soft-shelled crabs in our lives are trying to pull us back in, it doesn’t have to work, for two reasons. One, because they’re soft-shelled. Their objections, their opposition, is not that tough to overcome. Two, they’re just scattered on the beach, these folks in our lives. They’re not actually in our bucket. They can try to pull us down, but it won’t work, because they don’t have any leverage over us. This means that dealing with soft-shelled crabs is relatively easy.

What you do with soft-shelled crabs, who are in their own lives and you in yours, is simply tell them some version of, “I’m going for it. This quest means more to me than anything in the world. I know you’re worried, but I’m going to be fine whether you support me or not. But guess what? It would be so much more fun if you’d stop worrying about me and cheer me on instead.” That kind of statement, offered from a place of love and deep conviction that you are doing the right thing (whether or not others support you) is often, if not always, the antidote to the problem of soft-shelled crabs.

Often, soft-shelled crabs will hand you, when you say something like this to them, they will hand you the equivalent of the lucky scrunchie. Whatever that happens to be in your friend group, however, approval is signified, they will give it to you, and then you’re off to the races. The point here is that softshell crabs who aren’t even in your bucket are very easy to neutralize and get on your side. In our efforts to earn and in our collective mission to close the gender earnings gap, these crabs are just not that much of a concern.

Other crabs, on the other hand, are a completely different story. The crabs I am most concerned about are far more difficult to deal with, and these are the crabs that we’re going to discuss for the rest of the episode. These crabs are the hard-shelled crabs who are in your bucket. They do have leverage over you. These crabs come in two flavors. They’re the crabs who are already in your bucket, i.e., an unsupporting spouse or kids, and they include the hard-shelled crabs whom you invite into your bucket.

First, let’s dispense with the unsupporting spouse or kids. How do you deal with them? Here, I’d like to bring forward the concept of your power spectrum that I introduced at the top of this series on high profit thinking. When you are at the high-profit end of your power spectrum, you are recognizing and playing with your pure alpha energy. If something is happening, it’s only ever because your mind is so powerful that you created it. When you are at the low profit end of your power spectrum, what is happening is occurring completely outside of your influence. That doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it, you most certainly can, but it does mean that you didn’t cause it.

Why do we look at the power spectrum, and whether you caused something or not? We don’t look at this to blame you. We’re not in the business of victim blaming here at the “Make More Money” podcast. Rather, we look for the cause because knowing the cause is the first step to knowing the solution.

Here’s what I mean by this. Here’s an example from my own life. My mother sometimes used to say that she felt unsupported by her daughters and their husbands. She would say something like, “You know, I asked so-and-so to do something for me, but then they didn’t do it.” So obviously, this is a problem. In a high-profit family situation, everyone should get what they want and need. And when folks contribute as they can and they wish to, this almost inevitably happens.

For example, between my husband and me, I do our tax return every year. I’m a lawyer and an accountant and during the course of the year, I’m tracking my business revenue and expenses. Of course, I should do the taxes. If he tried to step in and do the taxes, it would be like throwing him into a sea of numbers and bank accounts with which he has absolutely no familiarity. It would be ridiculous.

But what happens when we need to know what’s happening with the weather? He’s a pilot. He knows things about weather that I will never know and I don’t want to learn. He’s in charge of anything to do with, “Is it going to rain, or can I leave my umbrella at home?” Makes perfect sense, right? He understands weather. We would put him in charge of this kind of thing. Also, as I have mentioned in past episodes, he is in charge of anything to do with hammering anything into a wall, because I am going to get impatient and it is not going to go well.

But in any case, let’s get back to the example with my mom. When she was feeling unsupported, the question is, “Was she contributing to or causing that situation? Or was the problem someone else?” We have to know the answer to that because if we don’t know the cause, we don’t know the solution. This is important because if you are currently operating in a low-profit home environment, and feeling unsupported by your family members, you need to know if you are causing the situation, or if your family members are causing it independent of you. What’s going on?

Until we know what’s going on. We can’t possibly fix the problem. In my mom’s case, feeling on supported in certain instances by family members, what was going on? She would ask for help. She would say to my brother-in-law, for example, “Would you help me move my refrigerator, so I can clean out from under it and vacuum the coils off in the back?” Side note: I learned something new about refrigerators recently. Evidently, they work better if you vacuum off the gunk from behind them from time to time. I don’t know how this is going to work in our new house, because the refrigerator is built in. I’ve never had one of those before, but evidently, that’s a thing.

In any case, my mother would ask my brother-in-law questions to help with things such as this, and my brother in law is pretty gung-ho to help out whenever he is asked to do so. So, when it seemed like my brother-in-law wasn’t interested in helping her, the question was, “Was my mother creating that, or was he?” In the case of my mom not feeling supported in moving the refrigerator, so she could clean underneath it and behind it, she was at least a contributor if not the sole cause, because here’s what happened.

She would say, “Will you help me with this?” And he would say, “Yes, when would you like to do that?” And she would say, “It doesn’t matter. Don’t worry about it. Just whenever. It doesn’t have to be done right now.” So, notice what was happening. He would want to put this task on his schedule. “When do you want me to come? I will plan on coming then, and we will get this done.”

But she was thinking a low-profit thought. What was the low-profit though? She was thinking something in the neighborhood of, “If I put this on the schedule with him, when the time comes to do it, he might not want to do it. And it would feel unacceptable to me if he’s doing something that he might not want to do on any level, so it’s better not to put it on the schedule at all. What’s better is if he just wakes up one morning and spontaneously decides, ‘You know? What I would really like to do is go over to my wife’s mother’s house today, and help her move her refrigerator.'”

What he would like to do is put a task on his schedule for helping his mother-in-law. What he is never going to do is wake up and think, “Today is the day that I spontaneously just want to go to my mother-in-law’s house and help her.” His human brain is always going to have something better to do. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to help, but he’s not going to spontaneously come to that decision of his own accord one morning.

So, when my mother was thinking that my brother-in-law needed to want to not just help her on his schedule, but that he needed to want to help her so much that the idea spontaneously occurred to him to just drive over to her house and help her, her thought that it needed to be that much motivation was what was getting in her way. Her thought was creating a scenario in which it looked like no one in the family wanted to support her. Of course, they wanted to support her, but they didn’t want for their support activities to require spontaneous motivation. They wanted to schedule it, and she wanted them to want to do the help so much, that they just spontaneously burst into the act of helping her.

And this, my friends, is what is going on in many low-profit home environments. If you are unsupported, a lot of what is happening, a contributing factor if not the sole cause, is that you don’t just want support, you want the support to be given so freely, that it results from a spontaneous combustion engine of motivation inside the other person in your household from whom you’re seeking support. The desire for this is born of the low profit thought that if the other person has one whiff of negative thought or feeling about doing the thing you want or need for them to do, that you are somehow harming them or harming the relationship. And so, in the event that that could even possibly be going on, you should just do whatever the task is that you’re seeking support for.

This, by the way, is the low-profit environment in which caretaking thrives. This is an example of a low-profit though causing or contributing to a low-profit home environment. When you are at the high profit end of your power spectrum, you are recognizing the manner in which you are contributing to your own problems. And then you are able to solve them by removing your contribution to whatever the problem is.

So, now let’s talk about the other end of the spectrum, the low-profit end of the power spectrum. What if my mother had nothing to do with the apparent lack of support in moving the refrigerator? Does this mean that she can’t solve that problem? No, but it means she needs to seek resolution of that problem in a different manner. She needs to get somebody else to help her move her refrigerator. This kind of thing is very rare, by the way. It is very rare that we do not cause or contribute to our own problems, but it can happen once in a while.

For example, it has happened to me. I used to be married to someone who thought I wasn’t pretty enough, who thought I wasn’t good enough. And I kept thinking that I could fix this, if I just got better. If I just improved, I could turn that around. I thought that I was influencing the situation, so I hung in year after year after year thinking, “If I solve all of my shortcomings, eventually this man is going to love me.” But then what happened? One day (this isn’t my current husband, by the way, he’s crazy about me) but one day when I was married to this other man, my first husband, he was remarking upon my alleged shortcomings. And he said this. He said, “You know, Kelly? I just really want to be with someone who can pick themselves up by their own bootstraps… Who can really just make things happen with absolutely no contribution or assistance from me.” And when I heard this, I thought to myself, Oh. All this time, I’ve been thinking that the problems in our marriage have something to do with me. His perceptions of my own failings are caused by me. And when I cure my own failings, the problems in our marriage will be cured. And so I can fix this.

But when he told me that he really just needed to be with someone who could pick herself up by her own bootstraps, I could see that I had been wrong. I could see this had nothing to do with me. And I said to him, “If you aren’t married to that woman who can pick herself up by her own bootstraps, and make things happen, she doesn’t exist. You won’t find her anywhere on the planet, because I am that woman. If that woman exists, she is me. And if you can’t see that that’s who I am, something has gone horribly awry here. You’re asking me to become something that I already am. So, I don’t know why you’re asking me to do that, but it’s clear to me that I need to get away from you. You have a problem in the way you’re seeing me. The problem is not me.”

That was the moment that I stopped torturing myself being married to someone who wasn’t supporting me, and who didn’t, in fact, want to be married to me. And I proceeded with getting a divorce and moving on with my life. It wasn’t an easy thing to do, but it was the right thing to do, and my life changed after that. Side note here, I don’t want to seem like I’m talking smack about my ex-husband, although I realize I’m creating the appearance of that. I do not intend to speak badly of him. He was dealing with his own issues at that time, and the issues that he was dealing with caused him at that time to want to think that his problems had something to do with me. If I could just be better then he could feel better.

After we separated, we met for dinner one night in Chicago. We both happened to be there for some reason, and he said to me, “I don’t know why all those years, I thought that you weren’t pretty enough. You are absolutely beautiful, and I just couldn’t see it.” So, that was the story. Things worked out well in the end. But for now, what can we glean from this? When you are feeling unsupported by the folks in your family, one of two things is happening. Either it has nothing to do with you, or it has everything to do with you.

If you are at the low-profit end of your power spectrum, that means the problem has nothing to do with you. The answer is to remove yourself from that problem. You have no influence, so pull yourself out of it, because your influence is not going to fix it. If you try to solve a problem that is at the low-profit end of your power spectrum by changing yourself, you are beating your head against a wall. The solution is not to change yourself, but to remove yourself, and let the other folks work on whatever is going on in that situation. Eventually they will or won’t figure it out, but in the meantime, you aren’t suffering at the hands of that problem over which you have absolutely no influence or control.

If, on the other hand, a problem is occurring at the high-profit end of your power spectrum, that means you are creating or contributing to the problem with the power of your own mind. And the effective way to solve this is to recognize that you are creating or contributing to it, and change what you’re thinking and what you’re consequently doing to remove the effect of your contribution. When we are living in low-profit environments, when we are feeling unsupported, for example, what is going on is a fundamental approach to solving problems that typically goes wrong in not one, but two directions.

The first direction that goes wrong is this: The problem we are causing through our own thinking and our own action, we look to others to solve. The second way this goes wrong and creates a low-profit environment is the problems others are causing, we beat our heads against concrete trying to solve on our own. Knowing where a problem is occurring– at the high-profit end of your power spectrum or at the low-profit end of your power spectrum–is the first step to knowing how to solve it. You either change what you’re doing because you are the cause, or you remove yourself from the situation and let somebody else fix it because you have nothing to do with the cause. You are not the problem. This is the big thing that we work on in High Profit Home.

And if you are suffering from a low-profit home environment, what you need to know is that High Profit Home™ is currently a component of the Gateway to Seven program. But starting in January 2022, it will be available to those outside of Gateway to Seven as a standalone solution to a low-profit home environment. If you are interested in joining us inside High Profit Home™, it is available to you beginning in the first week of January 2022. This is not a beta version of this program. The beta version has been tested inside Gateway to Seven and it is changing lives.

For example, one woman inside Gateway to Seven recently reported this. She walked into the house. She had been outside working in her office, which is in a separate building on her property, and she went into her house and she could not find her twins. The house was silent, and she went looking for them. What were they doing? Two or three days before an assignment was due at school, they were working quietly together in one of their bedrooms, completing the assignment together.

This is what it looks like when you are running a High Profit Home™. And it is not what her life looked like before she joined Gateway to Seven, and experienced the High Profit Home™ component of the program. Her life changed, and this kind of change is what every woman needs, whether you want to move your business forward, or start a new career, or enjoy the career or business that you currently have, far more than you currently are.

So, what you need to know right now, if you are a woman who wants to make more money or do anything else in furtherance of your own interests in life, as well as make sure that your kids launch well into their own lives, what you need is a High Profit Home™. And right now I am conducting consult calls to speak with you about whether this program is right for you. And if it is, then you can make plans to join us in January.

And here, I just have to say, that this aspect of my work in closing the gender earnings gap was a huge surprise to me. When I started Gateway to Seven, I was thinking that the problem of female underearning is largely a messaging problem. I was thinking to myself, that if women just knew how to communicate with the marketplace in a high-level, resonant and inviting manner, that would solve the problem of the gender earnings gap. And I’m not wrong here. It will solve the problem of the gender earnings gap.

But before we can get to high level messaging that will attract clients who will represent millions of dollars in the movement that you are creating in the world, whatever it is that you happen to do, before we can get to that, we have to get some other things out of the way. And one of them is the question of, “But who’s going to do the laundry? Who’s going to make dinner?” If those are the problems that are in front of you in a low-profit home environment, you’re not going to put your high-profit presentation out into the world, because you know what? Given what you have going on at home, clients coming in, that’s going to be a problem for you, because who’s going to stop the house from devolving into chaos and falling down around your ears?

In a low-profit home environment, no one’s going to stop that, but you. When I saw this problem inside Gateway to Seven, it was a surprise to me. The extent of the problem was a surprise to me, I guess I should say. I would say to the clients in the program, “Here’s a brilliant messaging strategy.” And the client would say, “Yes, it’s brilliant. And if we put that out into the world, if I get clients, it’s a problem. So, we can’t put that out into the world because it is certain to get me clients, I will definitely get clients with this quality of messaging. And I can’t get clients, because then who’s going to make dinner and deal with the laundry?”

High Profit Home™ was born to solve this problem. And in hindsight, it actually is rather obvious that this is a problem that we had to solve before we could get to high-level messaging. And now, we have the solution, and it is creating a High Profit Home™. The good news is that the High Profit Home™ solution is solving this problem. It will solve your problem of the challenges of working or building your business in a low-profit home environment.

So, if you would like to speak with me about joining us in January to participate in this standalone program, I’d be thrilled to speak with you. To get on my calendar and talk about this, you can go to my website, kellyhollingsworth.com and book a call. By the way, if you are interested in the Gateway to Seven program, I am also taking calls for the waitlist for that. There is a waitlist, but if you’re interested in participating, you can try to get on my calendar and we can talk about that as well. I’d love to speak with you. So, if you’re interested in Gateway to Seven or if you would like to get in touch with me to do a call if you’re struggling in a low-profit home environment, now is the time to do it. Go to my website, kellyhollingsworth.com. Set yourself up with some time on my calendar.

And now that we’ve talked about that, let’s take a second to reorient ourselves in what we are discussing in this episode.

In the case of the hard-shelled crabs who are pulling you back into the bucket, in many cases, they are members of your own family. And what to do about those folks depends on if the problem is occurring at the high-profit end of your power spectrum, meaning that you are causing it. Side note here, it is almost always the case that every problem in your life is at the high-profit end of your power spectrum. You created it, and this means that you can solve it. Sometimes that’s not the case. And that means you can’t solve it, but you can remove yourself from it.

Rarely is that the case. There’s a myth going around in the money-making advice world right now and it goes like this. The myth is that your income is the average of the incomes of the five people with whom you most closely associate. The thinking here, the very low-profit thinking, is that you have to ditch your friends and family members if you want to make money. Nothing could be further from the truth and I am a prime example of that.

When I was a waitress in undergraduate school, I was the wealthiest member of my family. Their incomes relative to mine had nothing to do with me making money or not making money. So, I didn’t ditch my family to make money, I made money in service of my family. Dolly Parton is another example of this. I don’t know a ton about her life. But I do know that she didn’t detach from everyone in her life to make money, making money was in connection to or in service of the people who were in her life, even before she had money. So, if you hear someone tell you that you have to ditch your near and dear to make money, run away from them as fast as you can, because they are trying to destroy your family with their low-profit, soul-sucking advice. Don’t let them do that.

So, with that out of the way, now, where are we? Now, let’s talk about the other hard-shelled crabs who are pulling you back into your bucket. These aren’t your family members. Who are these other folks? They didn’t start out in your bucket, you invited them in. You didn’t just invite them in, you also gave them money to be there. And the fact that you gave them money to be in your bucket makes you want to listen to them all the more, even when listening to them is against your own interests. The fact that you gave them money gives them a great deal of influence over you and the influence in the case of this type of hard-shelled crab is very negative.

So now, you may be asking, “Who are these folks? Who are these hard-shelled crabs that you invited into your bucket and to whom you’re giving money against your own interest?” These folks are certain coaches. They are not every coach, but they are the coaches who have been poorly trained and/or not trained at all and/or who have poor motives. And they, therefore, are working in furtherance of their own interests, and against your interests, and they are causing a great deal of harm.

And this brings me to another big surprise in my mission to close the gender earnings gap, perhaps the biggest surprise that I will ever encounter in my life. Here’s the surprise. I haven’t yet talked about this in the podcast, and what I’m about to share is in my mind, the biggest impediment to closing the gender earnings gap that we are struggling with right now. What is this impediment? It is coaching schools that function as puppy mills that spread the virus of underearning everywhere, just as a puppy mill spreads disease among the dog population.

What I am seeing is that many if not most coaching schools, coach certification programs, are currently functioning like these puppy mills. They’re in the business of making money. They are not in the business of delivering to the marketplace highly effective coaches who are going to help you get what you want. Instead, they have grooming to underearn baked into their training of the coaches that they certify. And in turn, these coaches take the virus of grooming to underearn, and they spread it among their clients, particularly their female clients.

Here’s a small example of what I’m talking about. I have been a coach since dirt was invented. I didn’t always call myself a coach. For example, in the hedge fund industry, I called myself a business advisor and a consultant and eventually, a lawyer. But essentially, I was a coach. In fact, the only reason that I got my law degree was because my hedge fund clients and I would come up with brilliant strategies for marketing and structuring their businesses. And when we would take these ideas to their lawyers, so that the lawyers could draft the fine print that would execute these ideas, the lawyers would say, about these brilliant high-profit ideas, they would say, “you can’t do that that’s illegal.”

At that time, my hedge fund clients and I were listening to this, “You can’t do that–that’s illegal,” I knew it wasn’t illegal because way back when I had gone to law school. I just didn’t complete the law degree or sit for the bar exam. Instead, I got sucked into the hedge fund industry, which was amazing. But the result of that was, when a lawyer to one of my hedge fund clients was saying, “This is illegal.” And I was telling my client, “I’ve been to law school, and I used to work as a regulator, and I’m pretty sure this is not illegal. We need another legal opinion on this.” When the lawyer and I were going head-to-head like that, my hedge fund clients would look at me and say, “Yeah, what you’re saying sounds good, but you don’t have a law degree, and that guy does, so I’m going to have to listen to him.” And then my hedge fund client would also say, “Why don’t you just go get your law degree already, and then I can rely on your opinion as my legal advice? And then I won’t have you giving me all kinds of high profit advice and my lawyer telling me, I can’t follow it.” That’s what they said at first. Eventually, they just said, “Would you just go get your law degree already, because I am sick of having a lawyer in the way of what we are doing here.”

So eventually, I went and got my law degree, so that our high-profit strategies weren’t gutted by low-profit legal advice. This is a big reason I didn’t call myself a coach, I just called myself a lawyer. I doubt I ever would have realized that what I was doing was even called coaching if I hadn’t started listening to coaching podcasts offered by coach certification programs and schools. But I did start listening to those podcasts, and that’s when I realized, “Oh, there is a thing called coaching and that thing is in fact, what I’m doing. I’m actually a business coach.”

And when I started listening to these podcasts offered by coach schools and coach certification programs, I thought to myself, I want to know the people, who go to these certification programs. I want to be in that environment, because I thought that they must have something really special to offer. I was a coach, but I’d never been to one of these schools, so I was thrilled to go. I wanted to learn what they had to teach, and I wanted to be in a community of other people who are like me. So, I went to a coach certification program, and when I did, I found myself in this topsy turvy world called the “coaching industry,” in which much of what I was hearing made no sense whatsoever.

Here’s an example. I remember hearing in this certification program that I attended that before you make any change in your life, you must learn to be happy right where you are. I want you to think about this for a second, in the context of hiring a coach. Imagine if, in my conversations with my hedge fund manager clients, they called me up and said, “Kelly, where’s our next $80 million coming from? What’s the strategy?” What if I had said, “Listen, I know you want your next $80 million, but before we talk about how to get it, before we make a single move, the first thing we must do is you must learn to be happy right where you are.” How well would that have gone over? Not at all. I would not have had a single client if that is what I had been doing on any level. The idea of even thinking about doing that would have been preposterous.

And this doesn’t hold true just in the hedge fund world. In any coaching context, it would have been preposterous. Imagine Phil Jackson, the world famous coach of the Chicago Bulls, walking into the United Center to coach the team. And they said, “Coach, let’s talk about the strategy for winning the next NBA championship.” What if he had said, “Forget the championship! The first thing we would have to do is get you happy right where you are.” How well would that have gone over? Not at all.

So, what the heck is going on in this “coaching industry” in which “coaches” are being instructed that that kind of forward movement is improper?” What’s going on is grooming to underearn. I’ve cited examples of grooming to underearn like this, in previous episodes of this podcast. For example, when Ken Coleman, a host on the Dave Ramsey show, tells a woman, who is underearning already, not to make any moves to get a higher income lest she offend her boss, what is happening? She is being told to sit right where she is, to make no changes, and to figure out a way to be happy about that. Ken Coleman told the women I’m talking about to request a growth plan in which she could add to her already considerable arsenal of skills, thereby increasing the extent to which she was underearning, thereby increasing her individual earnings gap, with the idea being that making no real moves in her career or her income was the thing she first needed to do before she could solve the problem of her own underearning.

So, let’s put a very fine point on this. When you are sitting in a dirty diaper of any kind, in your business, in your career, in your earnings, in your relationship, in your life, and a “coach” tells you to sit tight and learn to use your precious brain energy to feel happy about this dirty diaper you’re sitting in, that is not coaching. That is grooming to underearn, and this is just one example of coach certification programs and coaching schools acting as puppy mills and spreading the virus of grooming to underearn to the coaches whom they certify and to the ultimate clients of these coaches.

It is not an accident that the coaches who are certified in these puppy mills of underearning and the clients who work with these coaches are women. Why is it not an accident? Because there is no way a high-performing man who wanted to get somewhere would tolerate that kind of thing. The reason female coaches are listening to this, and the reason their female clients of those coaches are listening to it as well, is only ever because it feels very, very safe for women not to make a move. You do not have to look very far back in time, or across cultures even today, consider Afghanistan, you don’t have to look very far to see that women who make moves are punished swiftly and harshly and sometimes the punishment includes even death.

So, it’s not an accident that this kind of coaching is spreading the virus of grooming to underearn across women, and generally is not something that’s happening among men. If I had taken that kind of “coaching” to the most high performing, most demanding, most driven men in the world, the men in the billion dollar boys’ club that is the hedge fund industry, I would have been laughed out of the business. So, what we have is a problem my friends. What we have is a problem of women getting one kind of coaching, that is causing them to continue to underearn, to not make a move, and learn to feel happy about it. And what the men are getting, largely, is a completely different kind of coaching. That’s the problem that we have to solve if we are going to conquer the gender earnings gap.

If we are going to close the gender earnings gap, this must stop. And the way we stop this is to stop the puppy mills that are spreading this virus. How do we do that? How we do that is what I have been feverishly working on inside Gateway to Seven since the program launched. I mentioned in a few of the past episodes of this podcast that the Gateway to Seven program is populated entirely by coaches. It was never my intention to become a coach for coaches. When coaches joined the program in droves, I just thought to myself, “Well, this makes perfect sense, because I’m a coach. I’m surrounded by coaches. Obviously, they’re going to be the first wave of clients who joined this program.”

But then as I got deeper into the work of helping these coaches conquer their earning challenges, I could see that the fact that I was coaching coaches was not an accident. It was actually part of my larger mission to close the gender earnings gap. These coaches were coming to each session with earning problems. They were telling me, “I’m not signing clients, or when I am signing clients, they are unhappy.” They don’t really understand what coaching is. They think that they’re supposed to be getting a result, and I’m supposed to be helping them get it and I’m just helping them learn to be happy in their current circumstance. So, they don’t get what coaching is. They’re dropping out of my coaching program. They’re requesting refunds. In some cases, they’re they’re just ghosting me and not taking my calls at all.” Why was this happening? It wasn’t happening because the clients had a misunderstanding of what coaching is. Everyone knows what coaching is. It is a service that helps you achieve a rare and valuable result by helping you acquire skills that you do not now possess. Everyone in the world knows what a coach does.

But the women who had attended these puppy mill coaching schools were under the impression that coaching was something else. And that’s what they were offering to their clients and that didn’t work very well, because it doesn’t feel very good. It doesn’t feel good to the coach who’s offering the grooming to underearn, and it doesn’t feel good to the client who’s on the receiving end of it. What was going on with all of the coaches who joined the Gateway to Seven program is that their coach certification programs had trained them to speak to their clients in ways where the client could see, “I’m not going to get what I want here.”

A prime example of this is the example I just told you about. If you go to your “coach” with a problem that you want to solve, and a place that you want to get to in life, and your coach tells you, “That’s not what we do here in this relationship. I’m going to teach you how to get happy sitting in the dirty diaper of that problem rather than actually solving it.” With that going on, how long do you think these coaches would actually have those clients? Not long.

The clients who did stick around for this weren’t being coached effectively, rather, they were being groomed to underearn. This feels safe, but ultimately, you’re not getting very far in life. And that’s why eventually in that kind of arrangement, the clients were saying to the coaches, “Umm, I don’t really feel like I’m getting anywhere.” And then they would leave as well. So obviously, a coach who is conducting themselves in this manner vis-à-vis their clients is not going to be very enthusiastic about the coaching business and the client isn’t either and the result of that is going to be underearning.

When I heard the advice in my coach certification program to have my clients sit in their dirty diaper until they could be happy about it, I thought to myself, that’s just nuts, and I felt completely free to disregard the advice. But this not how the underearning female brain operates because the female underearning brain fears repercussions. It likes to follow the rules, because it fears being unsafe. So, the underearning female brain operates from a standpoint of, These are the rules and I’m going to follow them. My coach certification school told me to do it this way and that’s what I’m going to do. That feels very safe.

So, what’s been happening since these coaches who have been groomed to underearn in this manner… What’s been happening inside of the Gateway to Seven program is that it has become a giant rehabilitation program for coaches who have been groomed in their coach certification programs to underearn and to teach their clients to do the exact same thing. Never in my life, when I started the Gateway to Seven program, would I have predicted that this is the way it was going to go. But since it went that way, I can see it’s for a reason, because coaches who aren’t really helping their clients is a giant problem among women.

Coaches from whom women are seeking advice on how to empower themselves and how to make more money are actually being groomed to do the exact opposite. It’s not an accident that I was noticing this kind of thing in the Dave Ramsey show and elsewhere in earlier episodes of this podcast. But until a large group of coaches joined Gateway to Seven and I saw this pattern of grooming to underearned that had been baked into their training and all these coaches were telling me, “This is what I’ve been trained to do,” I didn’t see the extent of the problem and now I see it and now that I see it, we can do something about it.

What are we going to do about this? I am launching a podcast shortly dedicated to this problem of coach certification programs that are puppy mills spreading the virus of underearning to coaches who then unintentionally spread it to their clients. Obviously, no coach wants to spread underearning to their clients. Every woman who gets into the coaching business wants to empower women. She wants to empower herself, and she wants to empower the women who are her clients, but poor coach certification programs that are puppy mills for the virus of underearning are creating the opposite effect and this is a problem that must be stopped. So, that podcast is launching very soon. Please stay tuned in this show for notice of when that is happening.

And this brings me to our topic for next week. In the most egregious of cases, these coaching schools are acting as cults and the damage is tremendous. So, that’s what we’re going to talk about in our upcoming episode. Please stay tuned for that. And thank you so much for being here today.