Answers To Your FAQs About The “Outside the Job Box” Career Consultant Certification Program & An Important Date Change
If you caught last Friday’s issue (March 7th) of the Changing Course newsletter then you already saw the video where previous attendees in the Outside the Job Box Career Consultant Certification program talked about their experience.
If you missed this newsletter and want to watch the video click here now:
Apparently, their enthusiasm was contagious because ever since then there’s been a flood of interest from people who love the idea of getting paid to help people brainstorm interesting ways to turn their interests into income. Naturally, I’m also getting loads of questions.
I started to reply to everyone personally. But then it just got out of control. So I decided the smarter thing would be to use a FAQ (frequently asked questions) format and post them here at the blog. That way you can post additional questions or comments. I’ll do my best to respond within 24 hours.
I highly recommend you read through the FAQs before the registration period begins at the end of this week. You’ll have a lot of the information you need to make an informed decision whether this program is right for you.
I’ll warn you in advance – some of my answers to your most Burning Questions are on a little long. But I’d rather err on the side of giving you more information than less.
NOTE IMPORTANT DATE CHANGE
Northampton, Massachusetts is a college town and tourist destination. The interest in this live Certification program has exceeded all expectations. Which is great but it also got me worried that there may not be enough hotel room capacity over what is turning into very busy tourist weekend…
So the training dates have moved up one day.
The Certification Program will begin on SUNDAY, May 4th and run through THURSDAY, May 8th. My apologies for any inconvenience or confusion!
Hold the Date! Free Live Teleclass!
On Thursday March 13th you’ll get to hear current and previous attendees talk about their experience in a live Teleclass.
Morning Teleclass: 10:00-11:00 a.m. Eastern
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
Evening Teleclass: 8:00-9:00 p.m. Eastern
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
To your dreams,
Dreamer in Residence
Burning Question #1
“I love the idea of helping people in their careers (and would also like to work with other coaching goals as well). What attracted me to your program is the level of support you will provide. What scared me about the form was the specific information you wanted (e.g., number of clients, annual income goals, etc) – I just haven’t gotten that far yet (and feel like I need some help sorting all that out). So the primary question I want to ask you is if this training is geared towards people who are a little farther along in the business development process than I am?” Elizabeth
You do NOT need to have any previous business experience to qualify for this training program or business. In fact 90 percent of past program participants had NO previous experience. What they did have – and what you will need — is a passion for helping, for creative brainstorming, for making a living without a job and for helping others discover how to do the same.
The form Elizabeth was referring to is Pre-Qualification and Needs Survey. I amended the survey to make it clear that there are no “right” or “wrong” answers to any of the questions!
So if you have not yet completed the survey – or you started and got overwhelmed –please don’t stress out over questions like whether you already do coaching or currently have a website. You do NOT need either previous coaching/business experience or a website to qualify or to succeed in this program.
Also don’t get hung up on the questions about how many clients you think you’d like to have in a week… your financial goals… whether you’d like to work with clients over the phone or in person… niche markets you might like to work with… and so on. These are exactly the kinds of questions you’ll get a chance to really hone in on during the Certification program itself. Believe me… by the end of the Certification you will be crystal clear on all of these questions and more.
For now these questions are as much for YOU as they are for me. Part of your work as an Outside the Job Box Career Consultant is encouraging your clients to create work AND a life they love… I’m hoping you will use these questions as an opportunity to start imagining what you would like YOUR future life to look like as well.
Once you sign up to be on the First in Line priority notification list you will automatically receive an email with a special link to the survey. If you are not yet on the list you may do so now at:
Burning Question #2
“How do you get people to pay for this service?”
Honestly, I’m not sure if the questioner is asking, “How do you convince someone that your services are worth paying for” which is a marketing question. Or whether it literally means, “Considering that these consultations occur over the phone, are do clients pay by cash, check or credit card”?
I already covered the marketing question in the March 1 Certification Update which you can jump to now if you like. So let me come at this question from the nuts and bolts “How do I receive payment?” perspective.
As part of the Certification, web guru Lisa Tarrant will be on hand to help you set up a merchant account so you can accept payment via credit card. You will also get an Intake Script to use when a prospective client calls. Talking about money makes some consultants uncomfortable. The script explains exactly how and when to ask for and process a client’s credit card payment.
Essentially people give you their credit card information at the time they book an appointment. However, the consulting fee is not charged to the client until after the consulting session. In other words, you would never pre-bill for services that have not yet occurred. Once you process the credit card your consulting fee is automatically deposited into your bank account. (That’s my favorite part!)
Burning Question #3
“I have done traditional career counseling in the past and found that I didn’t enjoy working with groups of people. I prefer the one-on-one counseling. To be successful at coaching, however, it seems like a great advantage to work with groups. Is it possible to be successful without doing workshops and training sessions?” Laurie
Yes! It is not at all necessary to do group work to be an Outside the Job Box Career Consultant. I do one big workshop a year – all of my other consulting work on this topic is done with individual clients.
While you can certainly apply what you learn to a workshop setting, the Certification is all about working with individual clients. Most people prefer working with someone who offers a one-to-one approach because the time is 100 percent dedicated to them, their passions and goals. Working one-to-one also means you get to work with more people because there is no travel involved for the client.
Since the consultations are conducted over the phone your client can be from anywhere in the country – indeed in the world. Which leads me to the next…
Burning Question #4
I’ve already heard from people from as far away as France, England, and the Bahamas. Armelle asks, “Does your program work only for working in the US, or is it global enough for people from Europe to benefit?”
The yearning for freedom, control, and satisfaction are truly universal. Fortunately, not only is this the kind of business you can run from anywhere in the world but the tools and techniques you’ll be learning really can work anywhere! I have personally worked with clients from Great Britain, Italy, Pakistan, Spain, and Australia.
And I’m sure my international friends have thought about this already but with the dollar the way it is right now this program will be a steal for attendees traveling in from abroad.
If your goal is to reach an international audience, there are lots of sites around the world looking for fresh content. Some in some unexpected places… like Fred Ouma’s article “Are you bored by your work” that appeared at a site called The New Vision which promotes itself as Uganda’s largest website (http://www.newvision.co.ug). Contributing articles to sites and publications like this isa great way to become internationally known!
How cool would it be for the U.S. and Canadian consultants to team up with the international consultants to offer some kind of “live your dreams” tour and retreat for people who love to travel!
Burning Question #5
“I am a 69 year old wanna-be. I currently work [at a job] and need to “retire” to my own business. Would you advise someone in my age group to consider the program?” Myra
Age is really not a factor in your ability to do this kind of consulting work or to be successful.
Without knowing you and going “just” on age though I would suggest you consider “riding the horse in the direction the horse is going.” What I mean by that is you might specialize in working with people over 60 who are either retired, semi-retired, or fully retired but need or want to continue to generate an income but are sick and tired of having a traditional job. You would have a lot more credibility in this niche than someone who is 30, 40, 50…
I would offer this same advice to someone in their twenties or thirties. Several people in this year’s Certification program plan to target other young people who want to ditch their job-job for more a more satisfying livelihood and more freedom.
Burning Question #6
“I am interested in how some of the previous graduates of the course are doing with their own businesses.” Jan
Previous program graduates are in different places depending on two things — their interests and how much time and energy they’ve put into developing their businesses.
From the “class of 2006” for example, one person has written a book aimed at his niche market (attorneys) and created over 300 podcasts with career change experts… Several have launched their own online newsletters… Some are leading workshops while others are focusing exclusively on individual clients.
One Canadian consultant has just returned from a Florida meeting with a mastermind group she has joined with other entrepreneurs… Still another quit her job as a school teacher, enrolled in a six week course in black and white photography in Maine and is moving to the mountains of North Carolina to pursue two income streams – photography and career consulting.
The current Certification program is still in progress. Everyone is pretty much where I would expect them to be. They are working on their web sites and their marketing plans.Everyone has completed at least one practice session with actual clients – some have conducted two or three practice sessions.
Here are just a few of the many testimonials people enrolled in the current Certification class have received from their practice clients:
“Arthurine-you are a truly gifted and amazing Outside the Job Box career consultant! I deeply appreciate my consultation, and I am looking forward to moving forward to some of the ideas you gave me. Thanks a million!!”
“I believe Craig really will be good at being a full time consultant, and recommend him to others for a great job. I enjoyed working with him, and look forward to emailing him with my future career expansions!”
“Michelle is great! She has a lot of enthusiasm and that gave me energy. She is very easy to talk with. She also offered some good ideas, and seems to really care about what she is doing.”
“Gail was great. The session was exactly what I’ve been looking for a long time. I’ve met with several career coaches, but this is the first time I felt I got worthwhile feedback. It was a great experience… the process doesn’t consider what you’re good at, but rather what you love. And what could be better than doing what you love and getting paid for it. Gail, I think you’ll be enormously successful in this field.”
Can you imagine what a high it was for these new consultants to get this kind of feedback?!
Most of the consultants in the current class also collaborated with me to record a CD called Advice From the Dream Team II. This is something I will be doing for attendees in the May program as well.
Not only do you get a public forum to pass along on your collective words of wisdom but now you also have your first information product. This is something you can then sell if you like, offer as a free bonus, or otherwise use to promote yourself and your new business.
Some of the people in the current Certification are zooming ahead. One has already filled a four-week program she designed around what she learned in the Certification and another just received her first speaking invitation!
Burning Question #7
“What is the certifying body for this type of certification?”
Changing Course is the certifying body. I am certifying that you understand the Changing Course Formula (TM) and have been trained in my methods and processes.
Burning Question #8
“How much does the Certification cost?”
I am still crunching the numbers so I don’t have a firm answer yet. I have some figures in mind but the reason I haven’t yet totally settled on a final tuition is that there are a lot of “parts” to consider.
Obviously since this is a live event it means there are major costs that were not a factor when pricing the Teleclass version of the Certification. Since I know a lot of people are interested in putting on public seminars themselves, I thought it might be useful to have a better idea of what goes into producing an event like this.
If you’ve ever put on a live workshop then you know that booking five days of meeting space that include morning and afternoon breaks (this is where the hotels make their money!) very quickly runs into thousands of dollars.
But if it means getting to deliver the training in person where I get to work with you – and you with each other – in a much more personal way then is possible with a Teleclass, then to me it’s worth the extra cost.
Another big expense I need to factor is the many thousands of dollars in per participant expenses. This includes things like printing and duplication costs for all of the materials (a very big step-by-step consultant manual, actual client consultations case studies on CD including written transcripts, all of client case studies loaded onto your own MP3 player so you can listen in at the workshop, the entire contents of my Fast Track Tool Kit (http://ChangingCourse.com/fasttrackyourdream.htm) among other things.
The current program includes a lot of marketing training and tools all of which will be included in this live version as well. This training is all about getting where you want to go faster.
To facilitate this business acceleration process, one big and very costly difference between the Teleclass version and this live program is that directly following the training portion of the program that I will be delivering personally, you will receive six months of mentoring with marketing expert Ilise Benun of http://Marketing-Mentor.com
I went into great detail about the marketing mentor portion of the Certification program in a previous post (click here to go there now). Cost wise Ilise normally charges $900 for three months of individual and small group mentoring.
But, to help ensure your rapid success, I’ve arranged for a full six months which means you get $1800 worth of mentoring and training.
You will be working closely with Ilise to identify three achievable marketing goals and then receive the training and mentoring you need to reach them. The importance of this kind of support cannot be underestimated. In fact I thought it was so important that you and Ilise meet in person that I am paying her normal speaking fee and travel expenses to bring her to Northampton to speak to and meet you all personally.
Another big difference between this program and the Teleclass version is that we are going to do much of the work of getting you ready to do business on the internet for you. That means I’ll be hiring internet guru Lisa Tarrant to come in to walk you through setting up your own web site or blog template, registering your domain name, setting you up with a host, and applying for a merchant account so you can process payments by credit card.
In addition I’ve also paid a professional copywriter to create pre-written marketing copy for you and to then work with you to create a personalized bio that works even when you have no previous track record. I’m even paying a photographer several thousands of dollars to be on site to take a professional head shot for your website or blog. (So bring your favorite outfit and colors!)
When you consider the level of support you’re getting it’s like having an entire business handed to you on a silver platter.
I’m also doing something that you just don’t see in the seminar or training business. I’m covering your lodging and meals for five days.
The event is being held at the historic and elegant Hotel Northampton (we’re not talking “budget hotel” here). With the Certification coming during graduation season they’re able to charge premium rates. But you don’t have to worry about that because it’s on my tab.
My brain is pretty full right now, so I know I’m forgetting some things. But hopefully I’ve given you an idea of what some of the major expenses I need to factor into the final price of this training and business development opportunity.
All of these costs I just outlined can be quantified. That’s not the hard part. There are two things that make pricing this particular training more difficult.
For one – and this is significant – you need to understand that I am giving away literally ALL of my intellectual property. And I do mean all. Every technique and process that I have taken a decade to develop is at your disposal to use with your own clients.
For example, if you’ve had a consultation with me you already know that each of my clients receives a password-protected link to a complimentary copy of “Finding Your True Calling: The Handbook for People Who Still Don’t Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up.”
This 100-plus eBook is not just a “bonus.” Finding Your True Calling is your client’s pre-work. The pre-work is a way for your clients (and you) to prepare for the consulting session. When you sign on for the Outside the Job Box Career Consulting Training Program you will be granted exclusive usage rights to Finding Your True Calling for 2 full years.
That means for the first two years of your business you can use Finding Your True Calling with as many of your paying clients as you like, as often as you like. The hardcopy version of this book sells on Amazon for $24.95. The electronic version is not available for purchase separately at any price.
However, with your exclusive product licensing agreement you’ll have unlimited access for two full years. Having a tool like this available any time you need it is a great way to kick off your new business and instant credibility.
The marketing tools and support you will receive will be comprehensive. All the handholding and help you’ll get with your web site and blog will save you tons of time and hassles. Getting to use my eBook with your clients for free is great. But all of these things are really just the frosting on the cake.
The CAKE is getting to tap into a decade worth of knowledge and experience about what it takes to help your future clients to turn their interests into income… the incredible store of information and resources I have amassed… and the proven process for working with clients that I have perfected with literally hundreds of clients.
I’m going to be breaking down every nuance of my 5 Step Changing Course Formula ™. Once you master this powerful process you will know exactly what to say and do with your paying clients.
When you stop to think about it you can get marketing and web support just about anywhere. You can have the best marketing plan and the coolest web site in the world. But what are you going to do when you get a live client on the phone? Do you know what to say? Do you have a process? I do. And I’m going to teach it to you.
Sharing with you all of my intellectual property is not the only thing that makes this Certification so hard to price. The other big thing I need to factor in is my time.
Instead of delivering the content every other week for 90 minutes over the phone, for the first time ever, I will be conducting the program in person. That means you’ll be getting lots of individual attention from me.
I love meeting and working with people in this intense way. But frankly its a lot more work on my part. From the time we begin on Sunday, May 3rd at 9:00 a.m. to the big farewell barbeque at my house here in the country on Thursday, May 8th, I will be giving you 110 percent of my time and attention.
I know that for some people the cost will be a make or break thing. I knew when I came up with the idea of a live, five-day intensive that a lot of people would be priced out. And I definitely do not want anyone taking out a second mortgage on their home to pay for this program.
A couple of people indicated on the survey that they thought at $5000 the Certification would be “expensive but still worth it.” Now that you have some insight into what this live program is costing me to put on –and more importantly what you will gain in terms of essentially being handed your own business and then giving you everything you need to ramp it up very, very quickly… I hope you understand that there is just no way I can offer this level of intensive, live training and ongoing support and cover all of your lodging and meals at anywhere near that price. I would go broke.
That is a very long way of saying all I can say on the price right now is that I will have a firm answer this week. I promise to let you know before registration begins so you know what to expect.
In the meantime I do want to point out something you may not have thought of: Even if you are just starting out, you can deduct the cost of this training in 2008 as a legitimate business expense.
It’s true! As far as the IRS is concerned, as long as you are making what they call a “good faith effort” to earn a profit in the future – you can begin deducting any money you invest in building your business right away. And what could be more proof of your intention to succeed then signing on for an extensive training course designed to help launch you into your own profitable business!
Burning Question #9
“Is this really something that someone with no prior experience in career counseling can do?” Elizabeth
Absolutely! I would be really surprised if you did have prior experience doing the kind of non-job career consulting that I do because, frankly, I don’t know anyone else who is doing it!
You do not need a special degree or previous training to do this kind of work. What you are training to do is to brainstorming ways your clients can turn their interests into income.
Before I go any further, there are two things you really need to know right up front.
One, if you’re looking for more traditional career counseling training that incorporates things like skills assessments and personality profiles – this program is definitely not for you. You see, I’m not particularly interested in what a person is “good” at. I mean I’m good at typing and mowing the lawn but that doesn’t mean I want to do either for a living!
This program is NOT about counseling people who want to be a junior accountant, a human resources manager, or a pharmaceutical rep. In fact it has nothing whatsoever to do with the world of job searches, resumes, or interview skills.
Quite the contrary…
Being an Outside the Job Box Career Consultant is all about helping people see all the different ways there are to make a living doing what they love without a “job-job.”
Likewise, this program will not train you to become a general “life coach.” Don’t get me wrong. There’s absolutely no reason why you can’t offer your clients ongoing coaching to help them keep their dream on track. But this program will not train you to be a coach. If that’s what you’re looking for, I can refer you to some excellent coach training programs.
So, what’s the difference between a consultant and a life coach?
For one, coaches typically work with clients over a period of several months, even years. I work with people on a one-time basis. That’s because I have a laser-like focus on one goal and one goal only. And that is helping my clients generate creative alternatives to working 9-to-5.
Once again, you may decide to structure your practice to offer multiple sessions (and frankly you’ll make more money if you do). But 99 percent of my clients tell me they got exactly what they needed in just one session.
The other difference between a consultant and a coach is that, generally speaking, the job of a life coach is to guide people to discover their own answers. But the way I see it, if my clients already knew how to make a living doing what they love – they wouldn’t be calling me.
People hire me because they want expert advice. They also want someone who knows about resources for people who want to start a doggie day care or become a motivational speaker or have a flair for home design or become a travel writer…
When you sign on for the Outside of the Job Box Career Consultant Certification Program, you’ll learn how to give your clients the ideas, information, and advice they need to get out of the grind of working for someone else and to profit from their passions.
Again, this course will not teach you to administer and interpret tests and inventories. You won’t be learning about job hunting strategies. And we definitely won’t talk about how to use the Labor Department’s Occupational Handbook.
In a nutshell… this course will prepare you to take a client’s interest in say gardening, dogs, art, or the environment and a) immediately see possible income streams and b) point them to the resources they need to turn a particular interest into a successful small business.
The Career Consulting Skills side of this program will be extensive.
I’ve spent the last decade helping people tap into their deepest desires and work at what they love. Much of what I learned was through trial and error. When you do something for so long, you start to figure out what works, and frankly what doesn’t.
Once you learn all the core concepts as part of the Certification process I will arrange for you to work with several practice clients. This is where you get to practice doing the initial Client Intake, communicating with the client about their pre-work assignment, preparing for the session, using the client’s pre-work to actually conduct the brainstorming session, and doing the follow up.
By far this has been one of the most beneficial aspects of the program because it’s where everything you’ve learned about the Changing Course Formula ™… about where to find information and resources the client needs… and about the techniques for working with clients all come to life. A consultant enrolled in my current Certification program just signed up her first paid client — a referral from a very satisfied practice client!
In addition to getting to try out your new found skills, the practice sessions are also a way for people with no previous experience to establish a track record. That way when a paying client calls you’ll have some real life success stories to share. Plus you walk away from the practice sessions with something worth its weight in gold — client testimonials that you can proudly display on your web site.
Just because I had to learn all of this stuff the hard way doesn’t mean you have to. The Changing Course Outside the Job Box Career Consulting Certification Training Program is designed to give you all of the training, tools, and support you need to effectively consult with clients and to get your first paying client in as little as 4 weeks.
Burning Question #10
“Is there still room in the May class?” Pat
If everything goes as planned it looks like registration for people who are on the First in Line list will begin on Saturday, March 15th.
Registration for the general public will begin two days later on Monday, March 17th.
If you have not yet signed up to receive advance notification you can do that now at:
If you want to speak to me directly, feel free to call me at 413-535-5107. And, don’t be surprised when I answer the phone myself – it’s just me and the dog – and he won’t lift a paw around here!
I’d love to hear your questions or comments. I’m especially interested to hear why you feel drawn to do this kind of work… Click on “comments” now to share.