That was the primary lesson I was reminded of today – there is no “easy way”, no “fast track”, no “lazy man’s way to riches”. The reminder was prompted during a bridge call in which a fabulous coach with a compelling product in an attractive niche market was explaining how much he was struggling to attract clients. It reminded me of the three years (1994-1996) during which my coaching client numbers were so low that I had to continue my day-job as a financial planner to make ends meet. It reminded me of the 11 years in which I have gradually built my client base, my ezine readership, my expertise in my niche, my reputation in my profession. It reminded me of the continuing effort we have to invest in maintaining client numbers. It reminded me of the seasonal, macro-economic and micro-economic influences that affect our client numbers. It reminded me that coaches, dentists, financial planners – ALL small professional service firm owners face a daily challenge to keep on marketing and keep believing in themselves and the value of what they do. It reminded me to stay focused on my core products and not be distracted to “try something else”. Coaching isn’t special – its just another hard-nosed, sales-driven business that requires extraordinary determination to succeed.