Dear Stagnating Client: no one is coming to rescue you

Dear Stagnating Client,

I know what’s been going on.

After hours and hours of coaching sessions.

After months and years and MILLENNIA of work.

You haven’t really moved forward at all.

And it’s time to say: it’s not me. It’s you.

You’re not putting in as much time and effort as I am.

You’re not doing your homework.

You’re not taking the time to thoughtfully answer my questions.

You’re not preparing yourself for our sessions with dilemmas to be overcome and schemes to strategize.

You’re not doing the things you say you’re going to do, the things we both KNOW you need to do.

Every time it’s hard, it’s scary, it’s uncomfortable, you are finding a reason to simply not do it.

When faced with a difficult tussle with a problem, you would rather go watch tv, rearrange your closet, or cyber stalk people living the life you wish you had.

It’s not just that you are exhausting me. (You are.)

It’s that you are squandering your life. (Got your attention, did I?)

And I know why.

You are waiting to be rescued.

You want someone else to do the work for you.

And you think that someone is me.

It’s not.

I can listen and reflect you back to yourself.

I can offer you ideas and tell you stories to inspire you.

I can give you structure and accountability, tools and techniques.

And I can provide you with the support that every single person who has ever accomplished anything needs.

But, the most important part of the process is the work you do.

It’s those eureka moments you get when you have serious conversations with yourself. It’s what you learn when you take those scary steps towards what you want.

Working with a coach, just like taking a class, or being part of any process bigger than you, can feel like you are making progress just by showing up.

But you’re not. You’re really, REALLY not.

Just like your membership at that gym you’ve never been to is really NOT going to make your ass any smaller.

If you don’t put the time in, do the work FOR REAL, take those steps you know you need to take, you will not change anything.

I cannot do it for you, not even if I wanted to.

Any more than Roger Federer’s coach can tell him: you take the week off, I will work on your swing for you.

No one is coming to save you.

It’s all down to you.

Those who have the difficult conversations with themselves and do the things that scare them, they get a business that truly takes them where they’ve always wanted to go.

The rest, well, they continue to watch and wonder: how come she is SO LUCKY?

Yes, I know it’s hard.

I know, because I have been there.

Hell, I AM there every time I try something new and scary.

Every blog post, every attempt at putting together a new program can become an excellent reason to open some wine and re-watch the last season of Top Chef instead.

Dreaming and complaining is so much easier than doing.

And anyone who tells you that change is painless is LYING to you.

All those people having breakthroughs, living your fantasy life, the ones who make it look effortless? Guess what? It’s not.

I have worked with dazzling entrepreneurs who have had spectacular failures and extremely painful learning processes. Who have been so stressed and terrified by what they hoped to accomplish that they have actually made themselves sick.

And every single one of them fought their way through. Picked themselves up, labeled their failure a learning opportunity, stared down the bloated monster of overwhelm, and did the work they had been dreading.

And found themselves so much more powerful than they had ever imagined.

The difference between you and them?

They decided that they were worth the effort.

You have two options.

Stick with the dreaming and complaining, and get exactly the life you settle for.

Or bust your ass, risk yourself, and get exactly the life you deserve.

Your choice.

Join the doers and let the rest wonder how come you’re so lucky. I will fight hard for your dreams. If you will too. Find out how.



  1. DawnSev

    Amen, amen and amen. Well-said.

    • wendy tells all

      Holy speedy, Batman! Glad it spoke to you-I bet you felt the same about your students! So thrilled for your new adventure!

  2. Razwana

    YES! Stop cyber stalking people, feeling bad about your life (or worse – ‘motivated’), and do something small! Today’s small stuff leads to tomorrow’s big stuff, right?

  3. Liz P.

    Dang Wendy! Sucker punch to the audience, Total Knock Out! <3

    • wendy tells all

      Liz! Hope you know which side of the doer/watcher divide I think you fall. I know you have stared down the bloated monster of overwhelm!

      • Liz P.

        Oh yes, definitely — I am getting more and more excited about DOING! (which out of context can sound terrible. >.>)

  4. Elizabeth@rosalilium

    I love this post! Totally kick-ass. And something we all need hear sometimes.

  5. DrSRattigan

    This is an awesome post. I need to print this and give it to clients at the first session, so they know it’s not a game. Keep bringing the good stuff.

    • wendy tells all

      Right? It’s not a game. You get invested and spend BILLIONS of hours thinking about and working on how to help them-and then realize-they are not putting in the same effort. And never will. And don’t get it. But the ones who do….that’s when it’s fun and the great stuff happens.

  6. Otiti Jasmine

    Oh my. Yes. This. In so many ways. Thank you.

  7. Mallie Toth Rydzik

    Bam, saying the things no one else wants to. It’s like the people who sign up for the “course that will change your life!” No, only you can change your life. The course/coach/mentor/product can only facilitate that.

    • wendy tells all

      Would you believe I was driven to it? It was that or drink. I mean, AND drink. Yes absolutely, yes.

  8. Kamila Gornia | Passion-Driven

    Wow, I love this – super powerful and so important to be said. It’s a great wake up call to anyone who doesn’t put in the work, whether they work with a coach or not. You need to DO the work to get results, it won’t be some magical spell that makes everything work out by itself. That doesn’t exist.

    • wendy tells all

      Cool-glad you liked it. And you got it EXACTLY-anything you really want-is not going to just come to you. You have to make it happen. And no one can do it for you-no matter how much they want to. You and I and everyone who has fought for things knows this. It’s damn hard. But it is SO worth it.

  9. Elloa Atkinson

    This is one of the most powerful blog posts I’ve read in a long time. Thank you. And it’s exactly the reason why I’m ready to charge for my services – because the mindset of someone who is getting something for free is less committed, less ready and less willing to take responsibility than someone who invests their cash.

    And from your post, I can also see that sometimes even investing the money doesn’t mean that person will take responsibility. Brilliantly written.

    • wendy tells all

      Elloa: thank you for your words. And I totally agree-when you are starting out and learning your craft-the experience you get is often worth taking on free test clients. And many times, that can be a great thing.
      BUT, sometimes, people who aren’t paying just don’t see it as a real investment (though, it is-it’s their (and our) time they are wasting, even if it’s not money). So, yes, money can really focus people. But sometimes, even that is not enough.
      But those people who will work their asses off-who just need a bit of help, strategy, inspiration to get themselves unstuck and leaping forward-god, what a gorgeous thing to see, to be involved with. That’s why this matters to me.

      • Elloa Atkinson

        Thanks Wendy, yes, I also feel that it is SO gorgeous to see someone get unstuck when they simply need some support. I’m learning from experience too that I only have limited energy and actually, over time, I can become quite depleted. So I’d like to learn to pour my energy into people and places where it lands and can make a difference.

        • wendy tells all

          Absolutely. And I am sure you will! 🙂

  10. Kimber Lee

    Great article! Some clients really want their coaches to do the work

    • wendy tells all

      Why thank you, thank you very much! And you are right-they do. But somehow don’t get that we CANNOT. Even if we wanted to!


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Wendy White - Messaging strategist for coaches & consultants

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