Traits of a successful a coach and how to build a roadmap to a successful business with Scott McFall
Coaching the Life Coach
Robert Harrison

Episode 24 - Traits of a successful a coach and how to build a roadmap to a successful business with Scott McFall

In part two of this episode you’ll learn, how to make in excess of $250,000 per year helping others in the coaching business.

Scott speaks openly about the indicators of a successful coach – and how to make sure you’re developing the skills you need to truly be successful helping others.

You’ll learn skills like how to elicit your clients strategy for their un-useful behavior and how to replace that with a new strategy that works using the power of NLP, how to cultivate ‘resilience’ as a coach, and what it takes to go from good to great.

Using models of change from some of the greats like Virginia Satir you’ll learn a simple way to assess yourself & your clients – and make sure you keep yourself on track towards your ultimate goal.

This episode will teach you how to stay focused & ‘bounce back’ from any challenge that gets in your way.



Robert Harrison:  Alright, welcome Coaching the Life Coach.  I'm your host Robert Harrison.  Your guide to thrive, thriving in your practice.  And, today, we're here with Scott McFall of  This is part two a little mini-series we're doing with Scott.  On what it really takes to build a thriving practice.  And, last week we talked a little bit about really allowing yourself to see reality as it is with your business, what's working, what's not working, where are you getting in your own way, where are your own patterns of behavior preventing you from really having business success.  And, this week we're gonna really start to focus on some of the most common traits or indicators of success for a service professional, the traits of a winner.

Scott McFall:  I'm generalizing here a little bit when I say that usually they come from a profile where they're motivated away from pain or they're more fear based.  And, what you're constantly doing is helping them to use a strategy that's different than the one they showed up with.  Respecting other people in a certain way and recognizing authorities that are greater than oneself is really what drives total success.

RH:  Scott, I want to thank you for being here today, just for those people who may be just jumping in on the show and who don't know much about you.  I'll just briefly mention, I know you built and sold five hypnosis clinics and a publishing company.  You are a published author, you have trained some of the biggest and brightest in the hypnosis industry.  And, I was also able to come out to North Dakota and spend five days working with you.  You coach, how many people are you actually mentoring right now who are either coaches or service professionals, Scott?

SM:  Well, there are about a 160 active hypnosis or weight loss center type businesses and stop smoking businesses.  There are another hundred or so clients that are places like plastic surgeons, chiropractors, that I either do the marketing consulting for or do the coaching for the people who own those businesses.  And, I've done computer companies, I've been the key note speaker for Harley-Davidson Riders Edge where my wife, Sandy, and I were paid to go in and take that course and give Neurolinguistic feedback on the course.  And, then I was their national key note speaker for their Riders Edge trainers.  I mean, I do a lot of things like that.

RH:  Yeah, excellent Scott.  And, just so that the listeners really know, Scott has really helped a number of really great hypnotists come up through the field and really build their business.  I know that I personally talked to one of your mentor clients, Bob Faviola, not too long ago.  And, I believe he is doing extremely, extremely well.  Making well over a half a million a year through the coaching and mentoring he's gotten from you, Scott.  So, you're a guy, you've been there, you've done it yourself, you've walked so many people through the process and I always just love hearing your advice.  I wonder if you can just tell us today.  What are some of the common traits or the common indicators of success that you see in someone who's really gonna be successful in the business?  And, how can we, for those of us who maybe feel like we don't have them yet, or don't have enough of them, how can we start to cultivate them?

SM:  Well, one of the first things I'll offer your listeners is this.  We have an actual form where we profile people.  When Sandy and I are taking in new clients.  And, I will Email that form to anyone who requests it, for free.  If they happen to want it.
RH:  Wonderful.

SM:  And, so we'll give them that information at the end of the call.  But, basically, what it does is it profiles people based on how are they motivated?  What is the core subject that they're trying to prove about themselves?  What way do they use their perception?  Do they visually or kinesthetically or auditorily?  What is their motivation strategy?  And, so on, and so on.  And, what we found is pretty interesting, because usually people who are successful plan visually, they see what they're gonna do first, instead of trying to talk themselves through it.  Most of the time, people who are successful see what they're going to do, take action on it, and feel only after they get the results of the action.  They don't try to feel in advance.

RH:  Can you say a little more about that?  Because, I remember reading about [xx], she would always talk about, make an image of what you want to have happen and then feel, associate into how good it will be to actually have achieved that.

SM:  Right, well you can do that to draw yourself through it and that's true.  And, perhaps, its more true and accurate to say that people begin to sample that as they move forward.  Her books say that visualization is very good, but the thing that I'm saying is that most of the time, if you attempt to feel in advance, you will feel anxiety.

RH:  That is definitely true.

SM:  Yeah, and so what happens is that.  Her best insight, by the way, just to revisit her, is if you have a feeling that you don't want or an attitude that you don't want, or a thought that you don't want, just let it go through your head, just go ahead and have it and then think what you need to think to get your outcome.  And, she was really onto something there, because it keeps you from debating yourself and ending up trapped.  So, I agree, that she had some really good insights.  As far as what we're talking about here when we're talking about the characteristics of a successful business person, a successful coach, they are never really doing it for the money.  They keep track of the money, or maybe they want the success, and maybe they need money, and all that's true.  But, what drives them is usually a passion about the work itself, usually.  Usually, if the money is the reason, it eventually becomes a problem, greed takes over.  So, one of the other characteristics, is they have a genuine, it tickles them, or it excites them, or it emboldens them or it impassions them to do the work.  For instance, as you are fully aware, I am not a techno geek, I know very little about tech, I know just enough about tech to get me through the things I need to get done.

RH:  That's why you have your technical team that helps you.

SM:  Right, or why I trade out the fact that I am good in other areas with people who are in my network who are good at tech.  But, what I don't do is spend my time in an area where I feel icky, I'm willing to overcome maturity problems where I'm choosing to feel icky just to get out of stuff.  I can be honest with myself and admit "oh, I'm choosing to have a negative attitude here because I'm trying to get out of stuff that I need to learn.

RH:  I wanted to ask you about that Scott.  For people, when they're seeing a picture from an NLP point of view.  And, they're feeling anxiety, not everyone does that.  When I first dreamed of my business and some of my other friends I know, you were probably this way, we got very excited about it.  But, not everyone's like that, so I see how its important to check that, but isn't that how they're actually looking at the picture.  So, is the problem really that they're feeling it, trying to feel it first, or is it the problem that when they feel it, they feel anxious, they'll bind up and they'll stop themselves.

SM:  Right, well let's look at what you really did for a minute, let's elicit your actual strategy.  Because, this is what your strategy was, I think, you can correct me if I'm wrong.  You saw it, you felt excited about getting there, okay, but you felt excited future tense.  Like, when I get this, I will feel great, and then you were exhilarated to take action to get closer to feeling great.

RH:  Yeah, I was excited about the process as well, but I know that a lot of my clients would come in here, they're not thinking that at all.  They're imagining their goal and they just emotionally shut down, to them it horrifying, the process of getting there.

SM:  Right, they're overwhelmed.  So, in your case though you see you're toward pleasure.  And, often if you were, let's say, getting feedback from a coach, that coach, if they were good would say "oh, this guy's toward pleasure and he's motivated by the goal and he's freedom based in a big way".  And, so in order to make him as effective as he can be I want him to be able to see the pitfalls before they happen in a different way.  So, they're gonna expose you to the pitfalls in a different way.  That is, the vast majority of coaching clients do not come with that profile.  So, I'm generalizing here a little bit when I say that usually they come from a profile where they're motivated away from pain or they're more fear based.  And, what you're constantly doing is helping them to use a strategy that's different than they one that they showed up with.  So, you can start using their pain and fear strategy a little bit to help them by intensifying the pain of inaction for instance.  But, the point is that their strategy needs to be aligned better with the model of people who are already successful.  So, what you're saying is you naturally do this, you naturally look at the outcome, you naturally reverse engineer what you're going to do, by going backward from the outcome to where you are now.  You're maturely able to admit where you are now, which is, for a person like yourself or myself, always a drag.  And, because you want to be there as quick as thought, if you think about your profile, you know that you can get there, and so the real question in your mind is "yeah, how can I get there right this second?"  And, how isn't the only question, its how can I get there right this second.  Because you know that it can happen and therefore, in other words its possible to you, isn't it?

RH:  Yes, it always feels possible.  And, I know that's something a lot of people need.  So, what we need to do right now is take a short break to support our sponsors.  We'll be right back.  This is Robert Harrison with Coaching the Life Coach and I am spending some time here today with Scott McFall of and we will be right back.


RH:  Hi, we're back and I'm your host Robert Harrison, this is Coaching the Life Coach and we're talking with Scott McFall today, from, about some of the traits of really successful business persons.  Scott, you were telling us, before the break about how important it is for you to profile business owners and really determine how they're motivated and what their values are in order to really help them move forward in their business.  But, here's where I'd like to take this, I'm really curious if you could say, what are some of the basic building blocks of the kind of personality, what are some of the traits that any person could cultivate?  For example, resilience, I know that successful business owners have a tremendous amount of resilience, the ability to bounce back from failure, the ability as you said, to see failure, to address it and to move on versus just feeling defeated and collapsing.  I'm just wondering if you can talk a little bit specifically about what are some of those, if you had to break it down into three or four most common traits that you would really like to see all of your coaching clients start to develop so that they can be successful running a business like you are.

SM:  Optimism, determination, but the question is, a better question is, why aren't they?  So, its true, absolutely true, Robert, that what you're asking for is what we want, we want a road map to the model of a successful business person and you're question is correct.  But, the weird thing is it doesn't matter how much you harp on optimism to a person who isn't optimistic, it doesn't matter how much you talk about resilience to a person who isn't resilient.  What the question is why are they defaulted on that they're more comfortable, or they feel more familiar, they feel literally more familiar with self-pity than they do feeling success and exhilaration, so when they get in self-pity, they feel ecstatic in a weird way. [Robert laughs] Because they're more familiar with that feeling.  And, so sometimes it comes down to making, this I learned from weight loss clients, you can help a woman loose weight and she can become thin, the way that she wanted and she's so insecure thin, she's worried about gaining the weight back, she's worried about the attraction pressure from other men besides her husband all of the sudden.  She's feeling pressured from everywhere.  What I've learned is that business people are like this, they make a bunch of money and they have to learn how to deal with, let's say, tax issues that are a hassle, or let's say, they have to grow in the way that they handle their computer.  Or let's say, they need to take it on the chin about where their beliefs were a little bit wacky.  And, so, what happens is, that they're afraid, not of success itself, but of being found incompetent at the next level of their life.  And, it terrifies people.

RH:  This is like the secondary game of staying where they are, you're talking about some of the internal objections to success.

SM:  Right, so if you look at the traits that we're talking about, for instance resilience.  Well, what does resilience mean, it means the person believes ultimately that its worth moving on.  That its possible to succeed, that its just a minor set back.  The common line is "how many times did Edison have to try to put a filament in a light bulb before it actually worked?"  Well, there's all kind of stories like that, but to a person like that who feels like they aren't a member of that club you can talk about that trait until you're blue in the face and they think "yeah, that's true for them, but what about me?  I'm different."  And, its that feeling of difference, that feeling of uniqueness, where the problem is.  Because they wont model others if they resent them.  If you're going to get them to model resilience, then you're going to have to get them to respect people who have it.  When you get right down to it, you can't teach any other traits without respect.

RH:  You don't think its true that a lot of people will copy.  Not everyone may agree with how someone like Richard Branson does business, for example, I happen to be a fan of his, but they may model certain aspects of what he does.  And, I know that, I think that they modeled the twenty most successful business people of all time, or no was it twenty-five most successful business people of all time and twenty out of those twenty-five had gone bankrupt at least once in the process of getting there.  But, they had tremendous resilience, they had the ability to bounce back from the set backs, they had the ability to stay connected with their ultimate goal and they were able to move forward.  We need to take another quick, short break for our sponsors.  This Robert Harrison with Coaching the Life Coach, I am with Scott McFall of and we will be right back.


RH:  Okay, we're back, I'm Robert Harrison this is Coaching the Life Coach, and we are talking with Scott McFall from about the traits it really takes to be successful in business.  And, Scott, before the break you were mentioning the importance of optimism, determinations, and also understanding why one of your coaching clients may or may not have that.  But, I'm just wondering if you can, to recap that, what other traits besides optimism and determination, do you feel are really essential to being successful in business?

SM:  Humility, respect.  But, again respect is the one, respecting other people in a certain way and recognizing authorities that are greater than oneself is what really drives total success.

RH:  Tell me more about that.

SM:  You have to be able to correct your own perception in order to be totally successful.  You need to look at everyday as that you're a totally different person everyday.  Where new information changes what you're doing.  For instance, if an individual walks up to you, gives you a blanket, and you're on this continent in the early part of our country, you may not want that blanket.  You're cold and you want a blanket, you think, but the blanket is full of small pox.  So, then the medicine man that who has served you so well, for so long, comes up with a straw, and goes to suck the small pox, the evil disease out of your body and shows you the pebble in his mouth after he sucks it out of you, except he just gave himself small pox, so all the medicine men are dead.  So, the thing is that, a lot of people are wandering around in their old emotional anchors and their old patterns of perception that worked for them when they were a kid, or when they were a teenager, or when they were a young adult.  But, what they're not doing is actually staying in tune with how things are changing right now.  And, so one of the traits that is so profound in the most successful business people is that they don't have a history lesson running in their brain, they do respond to what's really going on right now.

RH:  They're seeing reality as it is.

SM:  To the best of their ability.

RH:  Excellent, and that's that awareness.  And, I remember the old triple A of action, as I've talked about before, that first we need to put attention, in this case into our business, what's working, what's not working, that will develop the awareness that we need to actually be clear on what actions we should then take.  So, Scott, before we wrap up if you could just, if you have one three minute lesson that as we end this two part series, one three minute lesson that you could just give to the listeners right now.  Something that would be just a tool they could use on a daily basis that would provide value to them in their business to help them see reality as it is, help them understand how they're motivated, help them move forward.  What would that tool be?

SM:  When you get right down to it, the tool is, making your career really fun, making it really fun, making it attractive to you, to genuinely learn more, to genuinely open up, to feel like you're attracted to it, to believe that you want to be there, to not use your career as an alter on which martyr yourself because you have to work or suffer, or you have to do it, or you're being made to do it.  But, if you really want to be great, its what George Burns said, "love your work man, love your work".  And, its really that simple, because if you really like it, if you really want to be there, if it really is fun, you will find the information, because you will be so attracted to learning it, that it will become profoundly easy to you, and the real secret is helping other people to feel that way.

RH:  Excellent, Scott, thank you so much.  And, I have to say, Scott practices what he preaches.  When I was out there working with him in North Dakota, it was just an absolute blast and you always are so good at that, Scott.  Richard Banner was one of the first people with NLP, he would constantly, constantly, fire of frustration, angst, anger, all this stuff that he knows business people already go through and then he would anchor laughter to it.  He would help people learn to have a sense of humor about themselves.  If you know anything about Richard Banner, that was obviously a survival skill for him. [laughter]  But, I think its such an important part of learning and you've talked about really being a dignified beginner, willing to say "I don't know".  So, Scott, just for the listeners before we depart today, if you can just tell them, how can they get a hold of you, and what do you have going on in the next few months that they might be able to take advantage of for their business.

SM:  The NLP training with you, in February, in San Francisco would be great.  And, so would the, if they are running a weight loss, stop smoking, stress management type of business, the hypnosis training that I'm doing, the full business training that I'm doing, in Minneapolis in January would be great.  My Email is [email protected].  And, Scott with two Ts at hypnosis connection dot com.  Love to hear from you.  Again Robert, thanks for the opportunity to come play and great to talk to you today.

RH:  Wonderful, Scott, I appreciate it so much and we will go ahead and put your information up on the blog on, it will also be on practice   .com.  And, Scott again, your wisdom, insight.  And, for those of you who get a chance to meet Scott in person, he is just, he's an amazing person, very caring, very giving, and one of the best NLPers [?] and hypnotists I've ever met in my life.  Its been an honor to talk to you, I look forward to bringing you back on in the future.  That brings us to the end of the show.  Next week, we're going to be moving on and really talking about the specific foundational pieces that I want to see in play for each one of you in your business.  There are gonna be checkpoints and I'm a real big believer in keeping things simple and keeping simple milestones[?] and we're gonna start talking about some of those checkpoints next week.  I'm gonna want you to really have some notes, listen, and I want everyone to remember that we really need your feedback here at  Just as Scott was saying, to really be in the service of others, we need to know, what it is that you need, where are you at, where are you struggling, and the more you let us know that through the blogs, through keeping in contact with me and the show, the better we can start to arrange the material so that you really get what's most useful.  For text and transcripts of this show and other shows on Personal Life Media Network, please visit our website at  This is your host, Robert Harrison, and I look forward to talking to you soon.