The ProCoach Success System

Create the life you REALLY want. May 2005 Issue  

My comments in last month's "Ask the Coach" column apparently hit a nerve! My thanks to those people who contacted me with feedback - some agreeing, some disagreeing - related to the advice I gave to a coach about marketing her seminars. I stand by my opinion that she needs to learn how to market her own seminars before hiring someone else to do it for her. I believe it is too risky for any entrepreneur to need the skills of another person in order for their business to succeed.

This month my opinions may once again generate a strong reaction from some readers as we take a hard look at the concept of passive income, the hype surrounding it, and whether the passive income everyone is pursuing is fantasy or reality. I look forward to your feedback!

This month we also announce a pending price increase for ProCoach membership. As with many entrepreneurs, the idea of increasing rates strikes terror to my heart. What if our ongoing stream of referrals and new members dry up when we raise the price? On the other hand, ProCoach remains the lowest priced, highest-touch, most effective coaching program on the market. And the only program I am aware of that offers a money-back guarantee. Besides, the entire ProCoach philosophy is based upon the principle that we need to grow ourselves in order to grow our businesses. This well-justified price increase is yet another opportunity for me to face my fears and become stronger as a business person. Meanwhile, you can still join ProCoach until June 15 at our introductory rate of $149 per month.

Finally, I want to thank all the people who have been inquiring about the status of our pending adoption. Marianna and I have been deeply touched by your interest. The process has taken much longer than expected, and has been filled with emotional highs and lows. In the past few months we have experienced some discouraging setbacks. Then, last week, we received a photo of our new daughter and tentative confirmation that we will be traveling to China in late July to pick her up. Our emotions are once again soaring high! She is very cute (really) and will be one year old on July 25.

I keep saying that I do not expect my life to change at all when our child arrives, but in reality I know that I am about to enter the richest and perhaps most challenging phase of my life. The arrival of our new daughter will surely initiate growth beyond anything I can imagine. Those of you who are parents will no doubt derive great entertainment value from my trials and tribulations as a new father.


Andrew Barber-Starkey, Master Certified Coach.

In This Issue


ProCoach Price Increase
ProCoach Office to close on Mondays

Success Tips

Passive Income: Fantasy or Reality?

Ask The ProCoach

"How can I get my book written?"

Member Success Stories

Spotlight on Sharon Gray, Calgary, Alberta


Price Increase at ProCoach
The price of joining the ProCoach Success System is about to go up. For the past year we have offered special "Introductory Pricing" of just $149 per month, which represents a $50 per month discount from our list price. Effective June 15, 2005 our price for new members will go up to $179 per month. If you are planning to join ProCoach, be sure to submit your registration before June 15. This will save you $360 per year for the duration of your 3-year membership, a saving of almost $1100 over 3 years! If you wish to make an appointment to talk to Andrew personally about ProCoach as it pertains to your situation, call our office at 604-983-8041 or .

ProCoach Office to close on Mondays
Effective June 1 the ProCoach office will be closed on Mondays. There are two reasons for this. First, we are trying to minimize expenses to avoid the need to implement an across-the-board increase in membership prices. More significantly, we are committed to practice what we preach. One of the core ProCoach philosophies is that your business can serve as a means to create the life you want rather than you giving up your life to serve your business. We remain totally committed to providing the high level of service you have come to expect of us, however now we will do so between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

Success Tips

Passive Income: Fantasy or Reality?
In the past, my clients came to me primarily to develop successful businesses, balance their lives, improve their health and reach more of their full potential. These days, however, one goal that almost everyone mentions is passive income. The idea of generating a steady stream of revenue, without investing time or effort, has become the Holy Grail of our time.

At risk of offending, I must state emphatically that I believe the passive income they are seeking to be a myth.

Let me clarify. I am not against the idea of passive income per se. In fact it is something I am working towards myself. What I strongly disagree with is the "overnight success" approach currently being flaunted. I believe that those who are focused on creating passive income before they generate "active income" are deluding themselves and setting themselves up for both personal and financial failure.

I contend that, except in a handful of rare cases, it is totally unrealistic to expect to create an ongoing stream of passive income without spending five to ten years laying the groundwork.

Find out for yourself. Take a moment to list the names of people you personally know well enough to be certain they are generating decent amounts of passive income. Now ask yourself, "How did they get there? How long did it take them? And how hard did they work?"

My list includes investors who are generating substantial passive income. But they all invested several hundred thousand dollars of their own money before they began to receive 'passive' returns, and every one of them continues to work hard to manage their investments. I know network marketers who earn thousands of dollars a month in residuals, but they all spent a minimum of five to ten years building their businesses, and they continue to be involved in them today. I know real estate investors who have made huge profits. But they were all involved in real estate for many years before achieving their "windfalls".

I am convinced that for most people the concept of obtaining passive income quickly is nothing more than a fantasy. Here are three reasons why:

1) Although I know many people who are pursing passive income, I do not personally know a single person who has generated substantial passive income without investing many years of hard work or large sums of their own money. And every person I know who receives passive income remains actively involved in the management or creation of his or her income source.
2) The people I see preaching, teaching and marketing systems for passive income generation have all been successful at generating "active income" in the past and, quite frankly, they are still working their tails off. The fact that they are earning a lot of money is nothing new for them and does not mean, "anyone can do it." Besides, if passive income is truly available, why are they working so hard?
3) Information travels very rapidly these days. The minute you find a clever way of generating passive income, hoards of people will converge on your niche overnight putting pressure on your margins and attempting to claim your cash cow for themselves. (At that point you can capitalize on your wisdom by teaching others to use your system. This can be profitable but requires substantial effort.)

But, do not despair. There is a time-tested formula you can use for generating passive income. It is the model I plan to follow, and I recommend it for you as well. Here are the steps:

1) The first step is to generate "active income" either in your own business, or as an employee. Why? Because generating active income gives you the resources to invest in passive income opportunities; it helps you to develop the necessary business acumen and character for managing passive income opportunities; and it ensures you have ongoing financial stability while you implement your passive income strategy.
2) After you have established a dependable source of active income, your next step is to find ways to leverage yourself. Hire others to work for you or under your guidance; franchise or duplicate your income source or use your credibility and track record of success to gain entry to a bigger game. Leverage does not create passive income, however it does allow you to massively increase your active income while working less.
3) Having completed the first two steps, it is your time for passive income. Now you have options such as: sell your business; license your concept; or find someone to manage your operation or investments while you become a silent partner. This is the proven way to create passive income. It may take a few years, but at least it gives you decent odds of success.

If you sense some cynicism in my tone, you are not mistaken. I do find it frustrating to watch the get-rich-quick gurus selling the illusion of passive income while they work 24/7 to ensure their own financial future. Sadly, they are selling a dream to those who desperately want to believe it is possible to earn large amounts of money effortlessly - many of them the same people who spend billions each year on weight-loss programs that promise you can eat what you want and become fit without exercising.

My genuine hope is that you will find the financial abundance you are seeking. But my fear is that you, like many others, may invest more time or money than you can afford to lose in pursuit of passive income. Easy money schemes have been around for centuries, but they are reaching new levels of sophistication. Do plenty of due diligence, and for heaven's sake don't put yourself in a situation where you need the returns they promise in order to meet your basic needs and commitments. And always make sure you have a more traditional and secure alternative to fall back on.

Your comments and feedback are invited. to send Andrew an email.

Ask The ProCoach

For the past several years I have been working on writing a book. I have an excellent concept, a title, and great material, yet I do not seem to be making any progress. I am self-employed, have a busy social and family life, and am physically active. How can I find the time to work on this important project?

Coach's Response
This is a common dilemma. Many people feel the urge to write a book yet have a very difficult time getting on with it. Writing a book requires long-term discipline and focus. The best way to find that discipline and focus varies from person to person.

Start by identifying your priorities. In your case, it appears that time with family and friends, your health and your business, are all important to you. Are these truly your highest priorities? If so, you will want to write the book without violating them. Yet your life is full now. What are you going to stop doing in order to make time for the book? Don't think you can jam more into your life without giving anything up.

There are also undoubtably some fears causing you to hold back. This project requires you to enter new and unfamiliar territory; there are many unknowns with a complex and creative project such as a book. I recommend that you make two lists: one of the challenges you would have to face if your book "fails" and a second of those you would have to face if your book is an overwhelming success.

Here are some tips I have learned from coaching my clients who are writing books:

Focus on the next step. Don't worry about finding a publisher, choosing a title, distribution, etc. Simply commit to spending a certain amount of time every week working on the next step, which in the beginning will likely be the concept and content of your book.

Identify your style of working. Do you do your best work a few hours at a time, a few days at a time, or by getting away completely for an extended period like a month? Given your situation, which approach is most doable?

Some people write best when they are inspired. Others, like me, find that a disciplined approach works better. I need to be willing to sit in front of a blank screen regardless of whether I am feeling inspired. What works for you?

If you are going to block out time for the book every week, consider doing it at the same time each week and scheduling it in your calendar. Stay clear of distractions and ask those around you to support you to keep your commitment.

If you plan to schedule something in on a daily basis, the earlier in the day you do it, the more likely it is to happen. If you are scheduling something weekly, aim for earlier in the week to increase your chances of completion.

The first step is to block time to write. The second, often harder step is to follow through and put the time in. Be patient with yourself; as long as you are consistently taking small steps, don't worry about your self-imposed deadlines.

It might help to think of your book as a method of self-expression rather than stressing out about whether or not it will be a commercial success. Not only will this take your mind off worries about promotion and publishing, it will enable you to focus on the creative act of expressing yourself through your writing. Chances are you will create a better book if you are in touch with your creative voice.

Get support. Consider joining a writer's group or a program like ProCoach that helps you consistently move forward on clearly identified priorities. You write a book the same way you complete any other major project - one step at a time!

One last comment. The vast majority of books people dream of writing never get written. I encourage you to defy the odds and make actually writing your book a priority!

Do you have a coaching question? Send it to . The ProCoach will answer one stimulating question each month.

Member Spotlight

Spotlight on Sharon Gray - Calgary, AB

ProCoach: Can you tell me about your business and how you got started?
Sharon: Three years ago when I was downsized out of my job in the petroleum industry I knew I wanted to start my own business. I had the idea of creating home tea parties, similar to the Tupperware party concept; only people would come together in a relaxed environment not only to sample and buy organic teas, but also to learn about the history and health benefits of tea. I created my company from scratch. I found suppliers, did the legal work, figured out how to market myself and my products, and put on my first party.

ProCoach: A business to market and sell organic teas is certainly an interesting and original concept.
Sharon: Selling tea is a 5000 year-old tradition! And I am constantly surprised at the level of interest and knowledge there is today - especially among young people. They are very conscious of living a healthy lifestyle.

ProCoach: How did ProCoach factor into your startup plan?
Sharon: I signed up for your system two years ago when I was first getting started. I realized that I needed support to stay focused and on track. I knew it would be easy to become frustrated and possibly give up on my dream. When I heard that there was a three year coaching program I immediately saw how it could help me follow through with my vision.

ProCoach: What have you achieved so far?
Sharon: Well, the business is still small but we are solidly established. I am extremely pleased with our rate of growth. I now have three consultants conducting home parties and inquiries coming in from people across Canada who want to be involved. Now my consultants are making most of the sales while I work on the business: marketing, bringing on more consultants, and training them how to market and be successful in the business.

ProCoach: How has ProCoach assisted with growing your business?
Sharon: Without the support and expertise available through the ProCoach Success System I never would have been able to grow my business as quickly as I did. Also, I would have experienced much greater frustration. I might have even given up. ProCoach helped me learn that building a successful business is not an overnight process; you need to work towards your goals on a daily basis.

ProCoach: Is there anything that stands out as especially useful in the ProCoach System?
Sharon: The Laser Coaching has been extremely helpful. Having a highly experienced coach to provide feedback accelerates my decision making process, helps me choose the best strategies and provides the encouragement I need to keep moving forward. The Quarterly Seminars are also inspiring! I find it extremely motivating to be surrounded by like-minded people who are running their own businesses. Hearing about their successes and watching them become increasingly successful really energizes me.

ProCoach: How have your work habits changed?
Sharon: On work days I focus and work hard. On freedom days, I play! I use the ProCoach Time System to keep balance in my life. When you are an entrepreneur there is always more to do. The Weekly Planner has changed the way I approach my work week.

ProCoach: Has the ProCoach system made an impact on other parts of your life?
Sharon: Using the ProCoach System has helped me to think like an entrepreneur and also to distance myself from negative influences. I am more in touch with who I am and what my priorities are. I feel proud of the way I am being a role model for my sons; it's great to show them what is possible when you truly commit to achieving your goal. Also, ProCoach has helped me with financial prioritizing.

ProCoach: What do you see for yourself and your business in the future?
Sharon: I am very excited. Life is going well on all levels, and I feel more successful every day. We are now perfectly poised for a year of expansion, adding consultants right across the country.

ProCoach: What advice would you have for someone who is considering joining ProCoach?
Sharon: The first question someone should ask themselves is "How committed am I at this time?" For a person dedicated to seeing results, ProCoach is an excellent system. The educational materials, structure and support it provides are first rate. But if someone is not ready to accelerate their business, I would tell them to wait until they are ready before joining.

Note: Interested parties can contact Sharon at 403-988-4970.

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Andrew Barber-Starkey is a Master Certified Coach residing in Vancouver, Canada. His coaching program, the ProCoach Success System, is designed for entrepreneurs, small-business owners, self-employed and commissioned sales people who want to double their income while simultaneously doubling their time off within 3 years.

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