I need to speak up about something.
The online business coaching industry completely messed up my relationship with money.
It was early 2020. The pandemic had just started and nobody knew what was going on. We had a house that we needed to secure a mortgage for (or we’d lose our home and a lot of money). Everyone was talking about an imminent recession. I was scared and anxious.
My survival instincts kicked in, and when business coach after business coach showed up on my social media feed, sharing that they were still making lots of money despite global events, I followed them and diligently listened, celebrating their success and hoping a little of it would rub off on me.
Up until that point, I’d done a lot to heal my relationship with my finances. There wasn’t a lot of money available when I was growing up. My parents worked hard to provide for us—I had a roof over my head, a good education, and there was always food on the table. But there wasn’t much leftover at the end of the month, and as a child, I was always aware of my parent’s financial struggles.
By the end of 2019, I found myself in a much more peaceful place with money, where it finally felt safer to receive, hold, and direct it.
But then the pandemic and the subsequent response of the online business coaching industry completely hijacked my mind.
Toward the end of 2020, we were able to secure the mortgage and save our home. But thanks to what I’d been seeing online, the damage to my mindset had been done. I started to think that it was perfectly normal to earn $100k+ a month. That it was something to aspire to in order to be “successful” in the industry. And that because my income as a facilitator was nowhere near that, I was somehow failing.
What I didn’t realise was that only a small percentage of coaches ever hit this kind of revenue, so it’s certainly not the norm.
What I didn’t realise was that many (not all) do it through exploitation, over-inflated pricing, and multilevel marketing-style predatory tactics.
What I didn’t realise was that revenue and profit are not the same thing, and sometimes these business owners barely break even because of team costs, ad costs, coaching costs, and taxes.
Because of all this toxic propaganda, I had momentarily lost touch with the reality of the situation.
A reality where the spiritual-feminist ideology that says the answer to gender inequality is for all women to become millionaires is complete trash. Because capitalism doesn’t work that way. If you want be rich within the capitalist system, you have to exploit and extract—from others or yourself.
A reality where the Alpha Feminists and the Girl Bosses of the industry make their millions by promising you a “Quantum Year,” but all they do is share “secrets” that teach you how to funnel money up to the top of the pyramid. They never share that many of their clients, caught up by the hype of their marketing, end up purchasing programmes they cannot afford and soon find themselves in debt. Perhaps they don’t even care.
A reality where people who don’t want to become the next millionaire are branded as being unambitious or as having a poor money mindset.
I’ve spend the past couple of years unhooking from all this toxic f*ckery.
It’s been affirming to see that more people are also starting to speak up against this.
I’m now thankfully back in a space where I once again have a much healthier relationship with money, viewing it not as a metric of success or worth, but as a necessary resource that all people, including myself, deserve access to. This, to me, is true freedom.