Momentum Podcast: 575

Caution: One on One

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

As many of you know, I used to be a one on one consultant for over a decade. With that said, today’s podcast topic is going to be one that will seem very surprising coming from me. I want to talk about why one on one coaching or consulting may not be your best option, and how it may end up hurting you rather than helping you. If you are currently working with someone one on one or plan to in the near future, listen to this episode first and then proceed with caution.  

In most cases, working one to one is not as beneficial as working with a consultant who has built out their systems with a team. One to one consultants usually have a lack of systems, documentation, and processes with no built out structure. Even though you feel like you’re getting all of their attention and a personalized delivery, this isn’t usually the case. What you are often getting is a much slower and tedious delivery, rather than one that’s fast and all at once. 

One to one consulting seems like the easiest and most valuable choice, but it’s the most dangerous way to move towards an outcome. If you want real results and fast, you need a consultant who has systems and a team. You will receive the outcome they have created with their team through processes, documentation, structure, and a platform you can rely on. 

Full Audio Transcript

This is the Momentum podcast. When it comes to working with coaches and consultants, people often ask, "How can I work with you one on one?" In fact, one of the things that people ask us, I hear people ask at events, I hear people or I see people posting on Facebook is, "Does anyone know of a coach or consultant who does..." Insert the problem they have. "Who I can work with one-on-one?" Well, this podcast is all about why one-on-one may not be your best option. In fact, it might hurt you and it's coming from me someone who for over a decade, was a one-on-one consultant.

I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum podcast made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds, those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum, so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how.

While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution and we always will be.

There's a reason that I titled this podcast Caution One-on-One. And the reason is, that in a lot of cases I would say almost in most cases, working one on one with a consultant is not as beneficial to you, as working with a consultant who's built out their systems and has built a team and you are receiving the outcome that they have created through processes, through a team and through a structure. Now, a lot of people are going to fight me on this and a lot of people are going to get irritated with this podcast because there are a ton of one-on-one coaches and consultants out there. And I want you to know there are a lot of them that are very good.

However, if you're a one-on-one coach or consultant who doesn't have a team who works directly with clients most of the time, here's what I absolutely know about you as a coach or consultant. And by the way, this is coming from very transparent, very real place because here's what I know about me when I was a one-on-one coach or consultant. When you are one-on-one and you don't have a team, if anything happens in that coach or consultant's life, you're going to feel it. You're going to be affected by what's going on for them. Your delivery is going to be dependent on how well things are going with them.

When somebody works exclusively one-on-one and they haven't built out systems to get leverage to work with other people, to go one to many, to have a team delivered to many, here's what you know, most of the time they lack systems, they lack documentation, they lack built-out processes and built-out structure. Here's what a lot of people think when they get into one-on-one relationship, is I'm getting all this attention, I'm getting all this personalized delivery. And what you're often getting, and again this is coming from someone who's been there, is a much slower delivery, a much more tedious delivery that happens over the course of time, rather than happening fast where you can install and get it done all at once and right away.

Let me explain to you exactly what I mean by this. When I used to be a one-on-one consultant, I would meet with people typically about every two weeks, in some cases it was every week, in some cases it was every 30 days. And we would have anywhere depending on how we were working together, anywhere from about 30 minutes to two hours to catch up. And in that 30 minutes to two hours to catch up, we would catch up, we would find out what's going on with the person and then we'd start trying to consult and I would be able to share maybe anywhere from 10 minutes to maybe 45 minutes or an hour's worth of content.

Well, if you worked with me for a year and we met every two weeks and we had 26 meetings, I could share about 13 hours of content with you over the course of the year. When I was doing one-on-one consulting, our clients had crazy, exponentially massive results. We got a ton of really incredible case studies. But here's what I know now in retrospect, that that 13 hours I was able to convey to somebody over the course of a year when I was doing one on one consulting, when I hadn't built things out, when I didn't have a team, when I didn't have a platform, today people in our most entry level programs get way more delivery, than the people I used to work with one-on-one that would pay six figures or more.

It's kind of tough for me to say that out loud to be honest with you. I didn't know that I was actually going to say that out loud on this podcast, but you know what? That's the truth. That's the reality. Did the people who paid six figures and more get a lot more of my personal time? Yes. Was I able to give them insights and share with them things that I wouldn't have been able to do in our current program? Yes, absolutely. But here's what is very interesting. See, one-to-one is the easiest. It feels like the most valuable, but oftentimes it's not the most valuable delivery system. See, oftentimes with one-to-one it feels safer, but it's often the most dangerous way to move towards an outcome.

Because again, there's no process, typically there's not spelled out processes, there's not a platform to rely on, there's not documentation to rely on. You're kind of in this one-on-one coaching relationship and now that's not to say that some coaches haven't built out systems processes, they're a step above most of the one-on-one coaches. They're actually a step towards going one to many. See, one to many is when you're coaching in a group, and this is the first thing that we did to expand our business. We documented things like crazy, we started putting together platforms, we put together a system structure, process documents.

We built out a massive system so that the people who engage with us now, here's what's interesting. The people who engage with us now in our catalyst program, which is less than $10,000 a year, get more content immediately accessible, than people who used to work with me over the course of the year would get in the entire year. Because I've made the transition from one-to-one, to one to many and now all the way to team to many. So here's what it takes for a coach or consultant to go one to many. And if you're a coach or consultant listening to this and you're frustrated that I'm saying one-to-one doesn't have the same value, I want you to really consider this.

See, when you go one to many, when one-to-one, you can fix any mistake you make, you're there one-to-one. When you were one-to-one if there's a break in the process or something isn't really working, you can cover for it in the room. Most consultants can do that. When you're one-to-one, if something isn't really working out, the client might not even know you'll be able to cover it in the meeting or in the time that you spend together. Now, one to many, here's what every coach and consultant that has gone from one-to-one to one to many will tell you. Their systems and frameworks had to get built out way more. They had to be infinitely clearer in order to deliver them to many people, rather than one-on-one.

One-on-one's easy. You have to get real if you're going to do one to many, you actually have to have way more proof that the systems work. You have to watch them work, prove them out, refine them, make sure that there's nowhere that your clients or the people working with you, lose any type of momentum. And one to many, you're going to have to have better systems, better documentation, better onboarding so that you're not just bringing in clients and losing them. So going from a one-on-one coach which feels like the best outcome, oftentimes you would be better just buying a one to many product, because you have the product available to you, you have the platform available to you, you can get it done. You've got everything that you need there right in front of you and you're not dependent on the coach or consultant Showing up.

Now, I believe the most evolved coaches and consultants, those who really understand the frameworks that they have created, those who truly understand the challenges that they solve for their clients and those who create a consistent result over time, are the ones who have built out from one-to-one to one to many, to now transitioning to team to many. See in our company and our delivery systems, I'm barely in the delivery systems. I do a group training once a month for our programs. I do our events every year, but my team delivers the outcomes that our product promises. And in order to be able to do that, you have to go from the one to many where you've got everything cleaned up. When you go team to many, you have to absolutely get everything in your entire product cleaned up If you're going to be successful over time.

That means the proprietary language has to be cleaned up. That means that the people who are delivering the product, have to understand not just the process, they have to understand the process, the mindset, what is it that we're creating for our team so that they can deliver at the same level that we delivered. And this is not an easy process. In fact, I've spent the last two years going through this process. Two years ago, in middle of 2017 everything we were selling was one-on-one access to me. And in the last couple of years, a little over a couple of years, we've gone from one-on-one access to me to go into the transition to one to many, where I was teaching groups. And then we went teamed to many, where now I'm not involved in delivery.

And here's what that has done for our clients. We've now built out a delivery team. They're accessible to our clients when they need them. Our clients now have far more multipliers of support more, than when they were working directly with me. There is exponentially more available to them because they're not limited by one human being me. And we've built out our systems and our platform and our structure to the point now, where when clients come in, they get more done in their first 30 to 90 days than most of the clients I ever worked with over the course of a full year. And the reason is everything has been built out, so now there's a combination of get it done as fast as you can. There's a combination of support materials, there's coaching, there's a community. There is so much more today available to our clients, because we've gone through the process of going from one-on- one, to one to many, to team delivery to many.

And if your coach or consultant hasn't done that, I want you to think about something. If your coach or consultant is one-to-one and they don't have a support structure, they don't have a team, then you are absolutely going to feel every challenge that person has over the course of a year. Now that's not to say that I've never had one-on-one consulting. In fact, I've used a ton of one-on-one consulting, but I'm cautious. I'm very cautious. I make sure that I understand what I want from the person. I make sure that I don't expect too much from the person, because one-on-one they're going to be able to have a very narrow set of outcomes that they work on and a very narrow set of outcomes that they can actually create because they're working one on one. They don't have a team. There's not a lot of support there.

And in the times where I've worked with a consultant one-on-one, here's what I can tell you consistently when there's been stress in their lives, I felt it in mine. I actually ended a one-on-one relationship recently because that happened too many times, where I felt the stress through our interactions and it wasn't stress that I was causing, but I could tell they were stressed because the consultant that I was working with, was truly one-on-one. She kept all of her own appointments, she made all of her own scheduling, she didn't even have an executive assistant. And at the beginning that was okay, but over time as her life got more stressful and as her business started growing and she didn't get help, it was more and more difficult for me to show up on calls where I knew I was dealing with somebody who is stressed, reactive, out of momentum and trying to help me.

There's a huge lack of congruency in that situation for me. When somebody is trying to help me but they themselves don't feel like they're grounded, don't feel like they're in momentum, don't feel like they're creating the progress they want, it makes it very hard for me to except support from someone who's in that situation. So for you in moving your business forward, here's what I want you to know. If you hire a bad coach or consultant, you're not going to know for a while. And so be careful when you make these decisions. Ask yourself, do you want to work with somebody who is working on their own, who's only had done one-on-one, who's had the experience of sitting in a room with a person and getting a result? Or do you want to work with someone whose systems are so built out, they don't even have to be there and clients still get the result?

Do you want to work with somebody who has processes and structures and onboarding, so that when you come into their program, you immediately know what to do and you can access the information on your own so you can get more done? Because for the clients that I work with, they wouldn't have it any other way. And that's why we've created the systems and the structure we have over time. And if you're going to go out and hire anyone to help you in the next few months, here's some considerations for you. Ask yourself, have they built a team? Do they have a one to many product? Have they actually put this down into a system, into a structure? Or are they showing up and shooting from the hip when they're consulting with you?

Here's my belief. You will be infinitely better off if you find people who are not one-on-one coaches and consultants, but instead have built an organization, built a team, are delivering their concepts, their content, their frameworks, their outcome through a team and getting a massively consistent result. That is the organization that I'd want to work with and that is the organization I would suggest you work with to make your life as an entrepreneur infinitely easier. Don't get stuck with a coach or consultant that you don't realize isn't really the right person for a while and you don't get the result you want and don't get stuck in a one-on-one relationship, where you're beholden on the other person showing up for you to get any value.

If you're ready to take your business in the next level, and what I've shared with you makes sense and sounds like something you'd like to talk more about, go to and let Jeremy on our team explain to you our programs, our structure, our frameworks, how we deliver a consistent result to our clients, so that they can grow their businesses, make a bigger impact and finally have the income and life that they have wanted. Go to answer a few questions from my team and we will make sure we connect with you.

Thank You For Listening!

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With gratitude,


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