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EP 17 - Business Coaching for Coaches, with Karen Cappello
















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With 20 years of experience in the coaching industry and business experience, Karen has made over six figures in coaching for years! She has even launched programs that have resulted in six-figure goals in less than three months. Karen wants her clients to experience success with ease and joy, believing it's possible for others to create success as it has been possible for herself. Karen also shares her personal development habit of spending one hour per day on something to help her grow personally. She invests time and resources into her own coach, as well as personal and professional development. She sees a future where it becomes normalized for others to do the same!




Jaime White00:00

Hello, and welcome to the Believe Crew Podcast: The Business is YOU. I'm Jamie White, founder of Believe Crew and your host, let's jump right in. Hello, and welcome. Today I'm interviewing Karen Capello, and she has been in the industry for 20 years as a coach, and specifically, as a business coach to help other coaches. I'm excited to hear more about who she is and how she helps people and share that with the rest of the world.


Karen Cappello00:29

Before I became a coach, I was in the estate planning field, I was working 60 to 70 hours a week, if you can believe it, those who are in business know. And all I wanted were three things. First of all, I wanted to work less hours, which wasn't gonna be hard. Secondly, I wanted to wear comfy clothes, because I was always wearing suits and heels and all of that. And third, I wanted to wake up without a blaring alarm clock. As an umbrella, I wanted to be able to do all of those while still maintaining the lifestyle I was accustomed to. And I wasn't sure I could. I really wasn't, I thought that I had to work really hard to make things happen, because that had been my success story previously. So when I came into coaching, I said, I am not going to keep this hard work as part of my success story. And I wasn't sure if I could make the money that I made and that I wanted to make. And I did it. So that's kind of my story. It amazes me every day that I get to do the work I get to do and that I am actually making really good money for doing things I love to do.


Jaime White01:41

That's amazing. Was there anyone that you saw doing it that helped you believe that it was possible? Or what were the things that helped you keep going when you just weren't sure if it was possible? Like how long was that timeframe and tell us a little bit about that beginning stage.


Karen Cappello01:56

So I saw it right away. But there wasn't anybody that I saw that was really successful financially. And I thought to myself, I'm willing to give up some of my financial wherewithal, in order to be happy and peaceful and all of that. And I wasn't sure how much of it I'd have to give up. But there was this thing in the back of my mind. So when I was tempted to work hard when I was scared, like Where is my money coming from? Where is this business going to go. And by the way, when I left financial planning, I certainly had money in the bank. But I was 42 years old. And I didn't have enough money in the bank to support me in the lifestyle I was accustomed to for the rest of my life. I knew at some point I was going to need to bring in an income. But I was really careful in the beginning to do only those things that were authentic to me, that made me happy. Because I was so afraid of recreating that pattern. And really with it in my first year in coaching, I did make enough money to pay my bills. So I was really happy about that. Because a lot of places, you know, they say takes three to five years. And then I kind of build on that. But I was so committed, I was not going to sacrifice my peace of mind for my business anymore.


Jaime White03:28

I love it. Where did you start in coaching? Did you start as a business coach right away for coaches? Or where did you start?


Karen Cappello03:35

Well, I started as a business coach, because I was in estate planning and to create an estate plan, you need a lawyer, you need an accountant, you need an insurance agent, and you need an investment advisor. So I was the investment advisor but I knew all these people. And you know, it's interesting, if you go into these meetings with these beautiful cherry wood conference tables and gorgeous art, and then the back room, there's a whiteboard with everybody's numbers on it, you know.


Jaime White04:09

Yes, I love those rooms. So we were all in the back room with our numbers. So I knew that my friends and my colleagues needed to produce every month as I did. The other thing that was interesting is I made the million dollar roundtable in my second year of estate planning, which was unheard of. So everyone around me knew I was successful. So when I became a coach, I said, Okay, now I'm charging for it. And people came to me because they knew that I could help them and, you know, it's so easy to figure out the return on investment. If somebody's in, you know, say a CPA and they get one more client with your help. They pay it pays for their coaching. If they're a lawyer and they get another client or two it pays for coaching. So it was really easy. So that's where I started. And then, about nine months later, I got my ACC, which in those days, you needed 250 hours. Now you only need 100 those days you need 250. And I had 250 hours of coaching after nine months, and I was at my very first ICF conference and one of my colleagues said, I don't know how you're doing it. But if I get a group of coaches together, would you coach us to do what you're doing? And I said, Okay, sure. Of course, I didn't know how to do that. But I figured I'd figure it out. And seven coaches got into this first group. And Jamie, they all started getting results. They all did. So then I realized that, you know, I had started out coaching entrepreneurs, you know, professionals, and a coach was just another version of a professional. So I shifted my niche over to coaching coaches in business development, because there's always business development. That's amazing. So how long ago was that?


Karen Cappello06:04

20 years?


Jaime White06:04

Oh, my goodness. Are you serious? Karen? Okay, so what is the name of your business? And how do you present yourself today? You know, like, we hear things in marketing, like what is your pitch? How do you present yourself today?


Karen Cappello06:17

They My business is Karen Capello Coaching, LLC. Because as I tell coaches, if you can't figure out a fun name, just put your own name there, you know, you'll have it for the rest of your life. Well, how I talk about it now is I help businesses and executive coaches, with business development, to have success with ease and joy. That's actually my tagline success with ease and joy.


Jaime White06:40

And that's what you wanted for yourself. That's what you found? And so do you track numbers or anything to know like, how many coaches in those 20 years that you've helped? Or what are some of the takeaways that you have for yourself, when you look back,


Karen Cappello06:53

I hadn't been tracking till about three years ago. And that changed everything for me, really. So I have been helping coaches for many years. One thing that happened to me was, my niche, kind of expand my offerings expanded. So my ideal client always stayed the same since I, since the beginning, after that first nine months, I was a coach. But I was helping life coaches, I was helping any kind of coaches and it narrowed down to business executive, because it's hard to find figure out a return on investment for other type of coaching. And I realized that just wasn't my thing. You know, my thing really was business and executive, that's where I came from. That's where I loved. So I kind of narrowed into there, then I was helping businesses and executive coaches do everything, get their business going, I was helping them with mentor coaching. I was helping them with group coaching. I had all these different programs. And the problem was, every program had to have its own registration page, it had to have its own marketing, campaign, it had all of that. And it I was doing way too much. So each one of those things took a lot of energy from me. And recently, I learned the term mental load. Do you know what a mental load is?


Jaime White08:14

No, but I love learning new terms. It's like an MBA.


Karen Cappello08:18

It's what's on your mind? Oh, yeah. So for instance, if if somebody says to me, you know, I'll help you with something. I want them to take the whole thing off my plate. I'll help you with this. But I'm going to come back and ask you 10 questions. It's still on my mental load. Right, right. So I had this mental load with all these different programs. And about one was maybe about five years ago now. I ran into a coach, who was working with these 12 week groups, he kept track, and he said, in these 12 week groups, we make an average of $54,000 per coach. And I had been coasting by on my low six figure income. I have a great life. I did not want the stress. So I just stayed where I was. Right. And I've never made $54,000 in a quarter. Let me try this and see what what's possible. I did, I made it. Well, I set a goal for 55 Because I've never been average, but I did make the 55. So then I thought I'm gonna take this again. And the second time I put a goal of 75,000 made that. Third time I thought, oh my gosh, could I make six figures? I put up 100,000. And I made that. Wow. And the you just talked about tracking. That was the key, tracking my marketing activities. Of course, I track my money and all of that for tax purposes. I started tracking my marketing activities. I started tracking what I did daily, and I still seeing what contributed to what? And it was amazing. And then of course, you probably heard the Pareto principle,


Jaime White10:07

You know, I've heard of it. Yes, yes. 8020? Yes. Right.


Karen Cappello10:10

So it's like 20% of your actions create 80% of your results. Yeah, that's how I got my 100,000. Because the first two quarters, I found out what those that 20% of actions were, and went all in on them. And all of a sudden, things were easier. So my coach said to me, just for 12 weeks, why don't you just do business development? Don't do mentor coaching and group coaching and all this, just leave those be? And go all in on one. And oh, my gosh, it was so much easier. I was selling one program. One thing, everything I did on social media was for what was going in one direction. I could repurpose things so easily. And I didn't have like four or five things I was doing. All of a sudden, I had more time for myself.


Jaime White11:07

So do you think that new coaches can also do that? Get down to that one thing? And how do you help them through that? Because I mean, picking a niche is usually painful, from what I've seen. And then even if I see it in someone else, because one of my gifts is to see people's zone of genius. But even if I see the gift, they don't sometimes want to accept it, because they don't want to exclude all the other options. How do you help people navigate that?


Karen Cappello 11:37

So one thing that you just mentioned the book, The Big Leap, and identifying your zone of genius and staying in that zone. That's probably the hardest thing for a coach, because we're so talented, we can do so many things. So the idea is just because you can do it doesn't mean you should. Yeah. And the other idea is, do you want to do? Do you want to be all things to all people because you can, you know, like the only reason to really hone in on your zone of genius and a niche is to make money out of your coaching business. Right?


Jaime White 12:16

I love that, simplify, it doesn't matter. The only reason you would do this, right?


Karen Cappello 12:21

The only reason you do this is to make money. [KW1] So we see this with coaches. Some of them are like, I don't want to niche. And then a year or two later, they're not making money. And they come and say, Karen, how do I do when I go the answers in front of you niche if you want to make money, easily, niche?


Jaime White12:39

Yeah. That's it. It's so interesting how our brains work against us sometimes. How have you navigated that? I'm assuming you have your own coach when you're working through some of those things. But how else what comes to mind?


Karen Cappello12:55

Yes, I have my own coach, I've had my own coach, since I started for 20 years, I feel like if I'm asking people to pay money and coach me, then I've got to pay money and be coached both of those things. And I have seen coaches, like if they're doing peer coaching, which is better than none, but if you're not getting clients make an investment, because that energy will bring in people who want to invest with you. The other things I've always been really interested in self-development. I mean, my whole life, right? Many coaches are, so I will do things like probably an hour of self-development a day. Could be anything could be listening to 528 hertz music. Yes. You know, and training my brain I put on my headset like you have here, Jamie. It could be. It could be listening to Abraham Hicks, who I just adore, very positive. It could be doing forgiveness work. Oh, I really liked the book radical forgiveness. I have a great story about that. I years ago, this was a few years ago. I did some work, subcontracting work for an organization. And I put in my invoice and they were supposed to pay me on a certain date. And that date came and went. And I wasn't it was a couple $1,000 It wasn't gonna make or break my life. But I like integrity. Yeah. So I'm like, Okay, if they would have sent me something and said, we're having a little cash flow thing, your money's gonna be late, I heard nothing. So I sent an email and said, you know, please let me know nothing. I see the owner of the company on Facebook and I'm like, Ah, you know, she's not even paying me, you know, like, how could you be out there? And then another friend of mine who did work for the same company, he got paid, and I didn't. So now I'm getting very frustrated. So I kind of laughed because I know every you know, I believe I create my own reality. So I thought, okay, there's a lesson here for me. So I took the radical forgiveness exercise. And it took me about 20 minutes to go through it with this woman. And then I, I left my office, I went to the kitchen to get a glass of water. And when I walked back to my computer, I had, I had an email that said, you've got money. And anytime in six minutes ago, just about the time I walked out of my office that I finished my forgiveness. That's amazing. So this stuff works. I mean, seriously, it works. So I do forgiveness work. There's another there, there are tons of exercises that can be done. And just, for me, just being really clear on what I want visualizations, you know, I do a lot of vision boards are, they're fun. Yeah, when I first started coaching, I did a vision board, and I had Canyon Ranch health resort on there. Now, Canyon Ranch is about 10 minutes from my home. And in my mind, I thought I was going to be staying at Canyon Ranch, which I have many times. But I was actually asked to be a speaker, it can be amazing. In my first year of coaching, they're like, Do you have any books you want to put the bookstore? No. So um, and they gave us free spa days, you know, for speaking so it was just great. Little did I know that was going to happen. So I mean, always looking for kind of magic and red threads and things that happen. And I do say one of my other sayings is that your self-development fuels your business development.


Jaime White 16:39

I love that. That is really what this podcast is all about. Because the business is you. And what I believe is that if we don't develop personally, then we keep our business stuck, or at its max capacity, right? Whatever or wherever we're at[KW2] . And I love what you just said about vision boards, when Canva and I connected about like mood boards on Canva, and then turning them into photo boards where you could just quickly and easily drag and drop photos in or upload photos I put on my recreation vision board. Probably three or four months ago, I updated it or created a separate one. And I picked a certain spot in Cancun that I wanted to go to, again in the future. And when I put it on the board. It wasn't it wasn't in my future. It was something in my mind that wanted to be and maybe three to four years, that was probably I mean, I had no idea when it would happen. We're leaving in two weeks. And the reason I know the reason is because we're going for a dental vacation, not because for my recreation. So it's on my recreation board, and I'm planning to you know, go to the exact same spot. But it was because that's where we found the dental place that we want to work with our kids. And so I love like you said, we put it on a board, not necessarily knowing exactly how it's going to turn out or exactly why or where but maybe we thought we were gonna go there for a different reason. And then you end up there for something completely unexpected. And it works. It's real. I've done almost everything on all of my vision boards. So far this year, I'm in awe.


Karen Cappello18:23

Make another one.


Jaime White18:24

I know that I did, I was like, Well, I think I looked around my room. And it was like, I think I've lived out almost everything on all these boards, I need to update it, it's time and now I'm like, it's not even the end of the year, I need a new one. So I love the people that you're pointing out, you know, in terms of the people that are the things that you've done, you know, to help yourself with personal development and being able to take an hour a day, and do that kind of work is a significant investment in yourself. And I believe it's what we need, but it's not obvious. It's not always talked about in an obvious way. You know, it's one of those things, it's like paperwork, it can easily be set aside, and then, you know, we haven't been doing the work for a while, all of a sudden it starts to show up. Is there anything else that when you're doing work with your clients, that you're seeing industry wide, or you know, just really consistently across the board, things that you're seeing that kind of concern you or that you're having to really address over and over again,


Karen Cappello19:20

One thing that does concern me is there are lots of internet marketing people out there that are trying to sell marketing to coaches, and these beautiful coaches who don't know what they're doing, and they're not really ready for a program like that. They'll spend 10 and 20 and $30,000 from their, you know, 401 K's get going. And they'll be in a program where they get lost. What which is one of the things that I do is I do my group programs and no more than 12 people in a group and they're all together as a cohort. And the programs I'm taking now, everybody's in a big Facebook group, and you have to pay extra to get with the main coach to get coaching. And it's just too, you get lost. And I think that doesn't work as well for coaches might work for others. But coaches are a special breed. So I think I think I'm probably one of the few MCC's that are doing business development because most MCC training coaches. It's for sale, right? Because there's no result. I mean, you can learn, for me, I'm on a mission to make sure that coaches are well paid for what they're doing. And obviously, we can never be paid enough for the transformations that we give, seriously, we could never be paid enough. But I want coaches to be paid better than what they are. And I and it's a mindset thing. It really is a mindset thing, it's and there are steps, of course in business, but we have our groups and we take groups through. So I think that's the one thing that really bugs me about it, I have some coaches come to me and say, Karen, I can't afford your program. I don't think we can ever not afford something. But they say that because they just spent a lot of money. It was like they might have burned it up. You know, and I'll say something about this. I myself, I've taken some programs that have been not a return on investment, but I've taken some others that have been. So I think as entrepreneurs, as business owners, we just got to try things, some things are going to work, you know, better than our wildest expectations and other things are not going to work. But in the end, it's all going to come out fine.


Jaime White21:45

Yeah, I love that. I listened to a Dave Ramsey program one time where there was a business owner that called in and she was beating herself up over spending $5,000 on something that did not end up turning out, you know, the ROI wasn't there. And Dave just kind of took a moment. And he said, if that's the most in business, if that's the biggest mistake that you make in spending, then you have most of us beat, like a lot. It just kind of this reality check. And then I remember, not that long after that I was in real estate development. And the I was new ish at the time. And the construction crew was making decisions on the fly on the job site, instead of consulting with the people in the office that were actually working with the clients. And so they decided to add $15,000 to a building and electricity that we couldn't sell that nobody none of our clients wanted. But it was like a nice day. And the two of them, you know, are just like, yeah, electricity would be great. Let's add that. That's great. That was a $15,000 mistake, There literally is nothing about it that was needed. And that's one of the mistakes. That was one, there are so many. And we kick ourselves over. Especially I feel like especially in coaching and service industry. Like it's, we don't have all the answers. So how are we going to know? And how can you know without trying? And then it was a learning lesson, right? So I hear what you're saying. And sometimes I feel like the shame of that though, for myself, even though I know this stuff every once in a while it can get me down a little bit longer, you know, and then and then instead of turning around and making another decision, it's like we hold off on making those decisions. Like you said, saying I can't afford that. Well, in some ways you can't afford not to I understand you got burned on the last one. I'm actually not burning people like that.


Karen Cappello23:44

That's the value of a coach, though, if you are being your coach can help you move past those.


Jaime White23:50

Yes. Yeah, absolutely. When you think about the future of coaching, and lots of new coaches coming into the market. What do you see for the future of coaching?


Karen Cappello24:03

Oh, I think it's going to take off like crazy. I mean, right now. I made this prediction, like four years ago when we had all these millennials coming into the workforce. Yeah. I said at some point, leaders are gonna be out there just looking for coaches, because the baby boomers who were working their butts off are leaving. Yeah. And Millennials don't want to do it that way. They want to do things in a different way. And they're going to need leaders and so I think the future of coaching is really bright. We have quiet quitting. We have a great resignation. We have all kinds of problems. Don't get me started. We went...


Jaime White24:41

I love this. I'm agreeing with where you're going and I had no idea that we were gonna go here so I'm getting so excited about what you're saying here.


Karen Cappello24:49

we went out to dinner last night and our dinner was 45 minutes late, they send it to a different table. This is just a small one small snippet and they had to pay for our dinner, buy our dinner because they were so late. So this a small snippet of what's happening out there. That, you know, people can't they can't find leaders can't find people to work leaders and people who are working are going home early. And the whole workplace is changing. So if we can come in and help them with, with a coaching culture, if we can help leaders, do feedback and performance evaluations differently and have difficult conversations and all of this, I think it's the best time for coaches, I think there are so many things for us to work on.


Jaime White 25:40

I love what you're starting to dip into here. Because in the company that I was in with the 35 employees, we had some of the highest employee satisfaction scores in our offices that this person had come in and audit us and said, You guys, in the 12 years that I've been doing this, you guys have some of the best scores. And I believe that it was because we took a coaching approach to leadership. And I believe that that's the new training, right? [KW3] Like, we need to recognize that what was there before there are, there are many leaders still, that think I want what I had, let's just do a little bit of a take a step back for a moment. I don't think that's reality. This new generation has amazing gifts. They are amazingly talented. And they want to be connected with on a personal level, they do not want to be treated like machines, we have enough machines in our lives. And so coaching that one on one option is it's a new style of leadership is what I believe. And so if we can coach the leaders, and then turn around and have room for more one-on-one coaches, and individuals themselves, learning to invest in themselves, I see I agree with you, I see the potential for coaching as being huge. It's to me, it's like when cars came around, I mean, we can take anything here, but let's take cars, or cell phones. In the beginning, you had a phone in each house. And then maybe you had multiple phones around the house. And then every person had phone. Coaching was only for sports and athletes and high paying executives. And I believe the future of coaching is for every individual. That's awesome.


Karen Cappello27:25

Yeah, I mean, I had a brick phone in the early 90s. Yes. Yeah, right now we might be in those. I don't think we're exactly in brick phones, but we'll probably in flip phones, you know, it's not as it's not as elegant and, and all over the place as it could be. But I do think people are really starting to understand the value of coaching. And I think as you you're saying this, you know, give us 10 years and every single leader will have a coach it just be agree, you know, standard operating procedure.


Jaime White28:03

I agree. And, the other thing that's been coming up for me, because again, I was in real estate development, recognizing that because our industry is newer, there's things that we're going to have to deal with that we're not going to have to deal with five or 10 years from now, today, we have to educate in ways that we won't have to educate on in the future. And I think that every industry goes through that before it becomes normal. And one of the things that I've recently been thinking about too, is the studies that have been done on the brain. And all the information that we're finding out today about how the body works, those studies hadn't been done before at the level that they're being done now. So there's just so much information coming from all directions that point to the power of coaching.


Karen Cappello28:51

Yes, we're perfect, perfectly poised where we are, I think.


Jaime White28:55

Yeah. And I agree to with what you're saying about there being very few business coaches that are in your position with having the credentials and going through the ICF. Programming. I remember being in the room at the conference, that ICF Midwest Conference, you had done this easy, simple little workshop, I guess you'd call it where you had, you know, everyone say, hey, what's most important to get credential to have a business coach? I don't remember what some of the other things were on there. But there was like this aha moment where I was like, Oh, my word. Yes, you need credential and you need a business coach, because there isn't really an easy place for you to go and get the information on how to do the business of coaching. So what comes up for you with that?


Karen Cappello29:38

I think it's really true. It's that's why I started helping people around me because the coaches didn't know I had a business background. Right. I was president of a semiconductor manufacturing company before I was in estate planning so I understood the business of business. Right? So I only had to learn one thing coaching, but many of the coaches that I was with they had to learn another thing, business development. And that's I do think there are more platforms right now there are more jobs for coaches than there were when I started. So it's possible in the next 10 years that coaches will not have to be an entrepreneurial endeavor. A lot of these coaching platforms, you can get all you get your hours for your credentialing, when I started, you could not get hours for credentialing unless you set up your own business. So it's moving in a direction that is actually going to be really helpful for the coaches who don't want to set up their business.


Jaime White30:37

I think there's a huge percentage of them that are not meant to be are called to be entrepreneurs. They want to help people and they can learn the process, and they can be good listeners. And they can ask good questions, and they can really be there for their clients without having the burden of being an entrepreneur, if they don't want to be I do think that that I agree that that's going to be the future because the process of being an entrepreneur is real. So I'm excited about that. I'm excited about all those opportunities. Is there anything else that you would want people to know?


Karen Cappello31:13

I guess I just want to say thank you to all the coaches in the world because I know we're here to really elevate human consciousness, and there's a lot more going on than just helping leaders or helping our clients to be the highest versions of themselves. I think we are, I think we have a mission in this world to there's an evolution of consciousness that's going on. The whole world is shifting into something that is even bigger than we could ever imagine. And that actually makes me really happy. And so I think the coaches who are kind of the midwives of all of this shifting that's going on in the world, and I think even during the pandemic, you know, we held a space for people to be healed. And it's really an honor. And I'm very grateful to all the coaches that are doing this, the coaches that are draining their 401 K's to do marketing so they can help people. It's amazing. So big thank you to all the coaches out there.


Jaime White32:21

I echo that and I support a big Amen to what you just said there because the work is being done right now. And it's shoveling it's the hard work that's being done by a lot of coaches to make this transition. I love it. Thank you so much for being on here Karen. excited to share with others.


Karen Cappello32:45

Yeah, it's been a wonderful conversation.


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