Menu Close

A 10 Year Blast From The Past

I ran across this article where I was featured back in The Province back in 1996.

Coach’s lofty mission: Clients taught how to live a better life
Vancouver Province
Tuesday, February 27, 1996
By Paul Luke

A new breed of buddy has invaded North America’s homes and workplaces.

More perceptive than your therapist, more objective than your spouse, more demanding than your consultant, they want to help you realize your dreams — all for a monthly fee, of course.

They call themselves coaches.

Their mission is to get professionals, entrepreneurs as well as regular working stiffs, to set and attain career and personal goals.

Coaching is still in its infancy, but U.S. coaching guru Thomas Leonard says it’s rapidly nearing flash point.

Leonard, who founded a Florida-based training school called Coach University in 1992, predicts the estimated 1,000 coaches across this continent will double this year.

“I think the explosion is about five years away,” said Leonard.

“I don’t think the public sees a compelling need yet to have a coach.

“When they do, our field will explode.”

Coaches will become as common as personal fitness trainers, Leonard predicts, because they can show people the way to happier, more productive lives.

Working one-on-one with their clients, and mainly over the phone, coaches help people identify what they want from their lives and how to get it.

Coach University now has six students working full or part time in Canada.

Among this Canadian vanguard is Simon Reilly, the former co-owner of the Vancouver franchise of motivational speaker Anthony Robbins.

Reilly’s coaching clients include a school teacher in Virginia, the sales director for an investment real estate company in Toronto and a Lower Mainland fitness trainer.

“Many times, people don’t know how to focus on what’s working well in their lives or in their careers.

“My first intention is to look for what’s working well,” the 40-year-old Vancouverite said.

“I will also be the guide, in a sense, to pull people to a higher standard.

“I can help them create clarity within the forest they may find themselves stuck in.”

Reilly promises a vast amount.

Through 30-minute or 60-minute weekly coaching sessions, he says he’ll help clients earn and keep more money, make better business decisions, lead a more balanced life and enjoy more sustainable energy.

He also demands a lot.

New clients are expected to do considerable self-assessment to make the process work.

If it doesn’t, Reilly says he’ll return a client’s cheque after the first four sessions.

Reilly’s own background includes a five-year stint with the Robbins group and 20 years experience in sales and marketing.

“Before anyone can sell themselves to other people, they’ve got to be sold on themselves. The answer is to sell people to themselves so they can sell themselves to others.”


Coaching is the latest twist taken by the huge personal development movement.

At its centre is Thomas Leonard, a former accountant and certified financial planner.

Thomas, an American, has launched a virtual school called Coach University that offers a two-year course taught over the phone.

The average coaching fee is $250 US for four 30-minute phone sessions.

The average age of coaches is 46 and 57 per cent of them are women, Leonard said.

Eighty-six per cent of coaching clients are professionals and 60 per cent are entrepreneurs.

Eighty per cent of coaches work mainly over the phone.