6 Questions with Richard Reardon | How Much Ought a Small Business Coach Earn?

by Andrea J. Lee

I’m delighted to share this 6-question interview of Richard Reardon, formerly the Dean of the School of Small Business Coaching at CoachVille.com. Richard was the first established Graduate-level Dean selected by Thomas Leonard, and revolutionized Small Business Coach training in that role in the fall of 2002.

Those of you who remember meeting Richard at the Business Coaching Conference held fall 2002 in Toronto, Canada will clearly recall what a deep well of expertise and experience he represents. A humble, rather quiet and dare I say ‘old school’ (in a good way) Mentor Coach, Richard has been doing the work of transforming businesses since 1981.

As you will see from just a few interview questions, there is no faking his kind of experience. Let me also add that Richard personally coached me through some of the most difficult days of my journey as a business owner, so if you pick up my rather fond feelings towards him, that will be why.

 (1) Richard, not to be rude, but you have been coaching businesses for a very long time! What is your favorite client success story?

The client who began coaching approximately 2 years ago and who now works solely with Fortune 500 companies, sets fees at 5K per day, has plenty of work and really “gets” coaching as a means to a bigger end.

He started with lots and lots of self doubt but, did the work, met the challenges and grew into it.

(2) As part of your legacy, you have said that you’d like to pass along your insights, methods and experience to new business coaches. Would you fill in the blank of this sentence?

I wish more business coaches would _______________.

Easy… practice what they preach and become world class business advisors.

Most have so much potential as business advisors/coaches but get all hung up on trivial stuff, side roads, analysis, what is a coach type of talk over and over… the market is so big…what are we waiting for?

(3) You have mentored coaches in several places including the Graduate School of Coaching – you must be exceeding patient and persistent to continue to make offerings available to coaches. I think many trainers might have given up by now.

What makes you so determined?

Actually I tend toward impatient. Since I fully expect the 80/20 rule applies everywhere, I tend to attract/work with those who are ready to ” get it going”, learn what has to change and build their business.

Not everyone will do the work necessary (not that it is all that hard, by the way) and that (not doing the work) is to be expected in any “new endeavor.”

In my role, I benefit in three areas:

(a) opportunity to teach good material and then
(b) the chance to work 1×1 with those who really want more. and, finally
(c) coaching business owners on-site.

The free stuff is easy to do and it’s nice that I enjoy it too —- no patience needed, really.

(4) What kind of earnings do you think it’s reasonable for a business coach to expect in their first year, done well? Fifth year? 10th?

Depends on the vision, goals, character and how big they want to become….I strongly believe that Solo operators doing coaching to businesses can easily earn…

Year one $115 ,000 plus
Year two $155,000 plus
Year five $300,000 plus

Once the model is decided and process developed, any solo person can earn these without a lot of extra service or affiliates. By year ten it depends mostly on the model and growth strategy.

All this is possible if they develop a step-by-step plan and develop the mental discipline to operate to the plan month after month.

Too many coaches are looking for a quick home run …that is a mistake. This is a profession that requires a consistent plan of development and a whole new level of mental energy. It is fun and rewarding but does not just happen.

Frankly, if the above revenues are not set as baseline goals, I think the payoff will be too small for the amount of mental change and work required for becoming happy & successfully self employed. Revenues count.