If you kill the Golden Goose, this will….

Here’s a note I received this week from someone who wants to be a coach.

”Dan –With the poverty of the USA my spirit doesn’t feel right charging the poor that need help for coaching them in the right direction. Out of the love in my heart for others and their burdens I cannot see putting a boundary up (money) for what I know can help them.”

Coaching is a helping service – as I hope whatever you are doing in work is a helping service.  Coaching is not unique in being the only way to help others.  So we could substitute anything you do in the following sentence:

”With the poverty of the USA my spirit doesn’t feel right charging the poor that need help”

  • making their house payment
  • getting groceries
  • having dental work
  • fixing a plumping problem
  • repairing their car
  • preparing their taxes
  • getting legal help
  • having competent daycare
  • knowing how to get a job
  • keeping their yard trimmed or
  • having access to great books

I too have a heart for the downtrodden.  I allow 10% of my time for humanitarian and ministry needs.  That allows me to address those needs and still provide for my family.  But I couldn’t spend 90% of my time helping the poor – I’d simply become one of them and deplete my ability to help.  It’s impossible to give when your own cup is empty.  A sincere desire to help and serve can kill the golden goose just as much as raw greed.

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17 Responses to “If you kill the Golden Goose, this will….”

  1. Foreclosure Coach Jody Says:

    It’s absolutely true that those things that we acquire without cost are the things we value the least. I doubt coaching is the exception. Instead, I believe that somehow a “client” absorbs the free coaching advice as just another opinion from someone that “can’t relate” to their situation.
    If someone is not personally invested in the process, then they are probably less likely to connect the importance of what they have. We can see this in how people treat their bodies, their minds, how time is passed, material possessions destroyed, and on and on. I find it intriguing that Napoleon Hill touched on this decades ago in the Strangest Secret recording, yet poeple still Walter Mitty through life trying to pull others down. How much better would their life be if they try to build themselves up?

  2. Andy Castro Says:

    This hit close to home. I once felt this way.
    But one must remember to feed one’s self before
    he has strength feed others.
    In addition, the one’s who are not poor need help also.
    We all need help in one way or another.
    Here’s my final thought.
    We are the goose that produces the golden egg.
    When we help others, poor or rich,
    to move forward in their life, they are the golden egg.

  3. Sarina Says:

    Dan said, “A sincere desire to help and serve can kill the golden goose just as much as raw greed.” We don’t hear this often, but it is true. It feels like one of those statements that can change our life, if we let it.

  4. Joe B. Says:

    I think Dan is right about taking care of yourself first. It’s my responsibility to do what is necessary to take of me! To think otherwise is “welfare mentality” and only breeds poverty. Foreclosure Coach Jody is dead on.

    This may be naive of me but I don’t see many downtrodden here in the US, unless it’s the US taxpayers. This is THE nation of opportunity and freedom. The poor are usually poor because of what they do, or don’t do. They are not downtrodden.

  5. Mike Says:

    I agree with Dan’s perspective- the bible counsels us to have balance in everything…ive been surprised to note people’s concern and raised eyebrows at the suggestion that I want to be as successful as possible/earn unprecedented income ,toward the end of being a channel to fund the work of diligent, wise people who are already helping others, as well as develop a ministry that does so…ministries are supported by people who work…why not set out to be as successful as you can?…to give people a break is great: but again, the Word says to give the worker his due, without which, those who help are without support …

  6. Jane Says:

    A very good balance of perspective and I could not agree more. There is a time to help the poor and then there is a time for the poor to help themselves. Hopefully, there is no misunderstanding about charity done out of a need to feel needed, and charity done out of love because there is a true need and not hidden greed.

  7. celestedavis Says:

    I too have felt I must not charge certain people, more because of their attitude than mine. This stopped cold for me when someone who (we both agreed) desperately needed my help and absolutely could not afford, it canceled an appointment with me because she had double booked my appointment and her nail appointment. She had to cancel me on the same day as her nail tech would charge her if she didn’t give 24 hours notice.

    So….my services which were saving her life were of less value than getting her nails done! Eye Opening for me.

    Now I ask the Holy Spirit to confirm if I should give my services away. There have been a few times I have met with someone once, they have been sincerely looking for help, purchased my book and run with it.

    They are extremely happy with the results and I am thrilled they helped themselves!

    Thanks for reminding us!

  8. mitzi Says:

    Can I relate! I have been struggling with this issue while training to be a creativity coach. Now I am at the place in the program where I have to service two “practice” clients in order to be certified. Against the advice of the teacher I offered free coaching to someone who really wanted it (thinking this was a mutually beneficial arrangement) but couldn’t afford it.

    Wow. He has been messing around for almost 3 weeks just getting me the inital paperwork. He could only “give me” (as if this is a favor he is doing for me) part of his lunch hour from work, and we have already had to cancel one session because of his inability to get the paperwork back to me. Would he feel this flipant about the process if he had invested in himself by paying a coach top dollar? I seriously doubt it.

  9. Don McCallum Says:

    I believe that God will repay us when others can’t. Interesting points about how people don’t value free help as much as when they pay for help.. I don’t think there should be an arbitrary 10% point for help, though. I agree that asking God for guidance is best. As Jesus said, “First, seek the Kingdom of Heaven, and all these other things will be added to you.”

  10. Sandra Says:

    I have been a Success Coach over the past seven or so years and have found it interesting that many who can’t afford my services could afford:
    1) large houses in prestigious neighborhoods
    2) new, fuel-hog cars and SUVs
    3) eating a high percentage of meals in restaurants
    4) ipods, flatscreens, fancy cell phones
    5) fashionable, new clothes
    Thus, they have chosen what they value.

    In the meantime,
    1) I live in and maintain a modest home I bought 20 years ago
    2) I bought a used, fuel efficient car after my six year old car was driven off the road by a semi
    3) I grow most of my food in my back yard and brown bag it a lot when I’m away from home
    4) I don’t have an ipod or a flatscreen, and I use a TracFone
    5) I buy my clothes in thrift and consignment shops

    If you can find a number of people who need coaching, but cannot afford it on an individual basis…figure out how to do it on a group basis–then the price won’t be so high for them, but you will still be getting paid fairly for your time. And if they are unwilling to get coaching in a group setting, I guess it is not that important to them.

    The U.S. has gone too far in the direction of valuing THINGS over people. Many of your potential clients have gotten themselves in trouble by valuing and investing in THINGS. Attempting to dig them out by undervaluing your service only puts you in the position of being an enabler–NOT a good position for a coach.

    When someone expresses interest in being coached, I respond with:

    “I would love to coach you…but it is expensive. I charge $250 for 4 once a week 1-hour phone calls. I require each month’s payment up front before we start. My objective is to teach you to coach yourself in three months or less. Let me know if you are interested so we can set up a schedule that will work for both of us.”

    This discourages some people, but I have had others who did become clients. The longest I worked with a person was nine months…and I had to wean him off coaching by stretching him out every two weeks for a couple of months. Every one of those active clients made AMAZING progress…but part of their willingness to work that hard was that they PAID for it.

  11. Anne Wells Says:

    In the airplane flight instructions, people are told if a problem occurs to put their oxygen mask on before assisting a child or anyone else to get one on. This enables the person putting on his mask to have the ability to help others. Consequently, the idea of help yourself first is applicable. However, only your sensitivity to the inner workings of the Holy Spirit will enable you to know when it is appropriate to help someone out of compassion. Otherwise, it’s just wood, hay, and stubble and brings glory to no one.

  12. WEC Says:

    A more general point:

    Capitalism isn’t evil. Expecting something in return for your labors isn’t greed.

    Socialism is based on premises that have been shown to be both logically and practically false. The socialist dream always ends a totalitarian nightmare.

    Stop wringing your hands about charging the downtrodden, unfortunate, and the hopeless for helping them. Work with them to ensure they help you, too. Better for both of you, better for all of us.

  13. FinancialBondage Says:

    If everyone gives one thread, the poor man will have a shirt -Russian proverb

  14. Bill Wilkinson Says:

    …and don’t forget perceived value. When people pay, they tend to make more of it. When it’s free, they won’t value it as much. You could be harming them (and yourself) more by not charging because you’re wasting everyone’s time and energy.

  15. Foreclosure Coach Jody Says:

    For what it’s worth, I incorrectly attributed The Strangest Secret to Napoleon Hill (blush) instead of Earl Nightingale.
    Where’s my accountability partners to proofread my comments before posting???

  16. Ralph Says:

    First off, I don’t think there is “poverty” in the United States. Overextension, yes! Also, anyone who falls into the “poverty” group , or for a better term working poor, is not going to be looking for a success coach. I know many working poor people, with sub standard wages, or no wages because they are too lazy to work. These people are not looking for a coach. Maybe a handout, but not a coach. Besides, what would be wrong with asking someone to pay what they felt the services were worth to them?

  17. Rob Orr Says:

    It’s all about being able to deliver value too. If someone values other “things” more than your services it just may be that they haven’t been convinced of your ability to deliver the results. I’ve found this to be true after having worked in sales for many years. You have to be able to demonstrate your value in order for customers/clients/consumers to decide to spend their money with as opposed to spending it on a new TV.

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