Today, we chop it out with Danny Rios and Ben Walker. These two guys are our lead coaches for The Strong Coach. They're going to be the continued co-host of this ever evolving podcast. I'm going to be the main host on this show moving forward. I'm really excited that you get to know these guys a lot better today and moving forward. We get into a lot. This is a very dense show. We get into why coaching matters, mantras, frameworks, and so much more. Enjoy it.
Table Of Contents
- Why Coaching Matters
- The Price Of Having The Life You Want
- Their Biggest Investments In Personal & Business Development
- Language, Frameworks, and Mantras
- Shifts In Communication As A Coach
- What To Look For In A Coach
- Closing Thoughts: Get A Free Three-Step Coaching Business Tune Up!
Why Coaching Matters
Mike Bledsoe: Welcome to The Strong Coach podcast. I'm Mike Bledsoe. I'm here with Danny Rios and Ben Walker. These guys are coaches. Danny, I'm curious about why coaching matters to you? Yeah, why is it important to you? Why does it matter?
Danny Rios: For me, coaching, mentorship, it's been something that in my life I've always had. It's something that now that I work with coaches and see the whole big picture, it really isn't a lost art. It's something that we are not longer sharing like we used to in a lot of ways because we don't have the elders to guide us and teach us. My experience coming to this country and seeking guidance, seeking support, early on, I sought out that from coaches in sports.
Yet, the avenue was sports but for me it was guidance and support in many areas of my life. That's how the evolution of my journey has been through coaches. It started early on with football. They guided me to playing collegiate football. When that journey transitioned into business, that's when I started seeking support and coaching from coaches is business. You were one of those coaches that I sought out support from. If it wasn't for those people in my life that shared their journey with me, it would have been a lot harder.
I'm not just talking about football, I'm not just talking about business, I'm talking about my life because they're able to help me understand what was happening in my life and support me in that journey and carry me on through whatever that journey is that I was seeking to go through or experiences that I wanted to have in my life. It's something that I've been very fortunate to have and a lot of it I naturally leaned into it because I didn't have it.
To me, coaching is, I'm a coach and I'm a huge believer in what a coach can do in someone's lives. For me, I would not be in the place where I am at supporting coaches if I didn't have that.
Mike Bledsoe: Where do you think you'd be if you didn't have a coach?
Danny Rios: Just looking at people in my life and where their lives are at, I could have headed down the typical path that my family maybe followed in business, in education and experiences in life. I'm one of the first college graduates in my family. Sports, I've taken it to one of the higher levels that we did in my family. I wouldn't had any of that if I didn't have that support. Even the reality to create that was impossible if I didn't have a coach, because you just don't know what you don't know.
Coaches can guide you in that process and help you with your focus. Oftentimes is what it is for people is their focus is everywhere. That's what a coach did for me early on. It allowed me to single focus on one task and take those actionable steps. It doesn't matter whether it was a football game. It doesn't matter if it's business. It was just having that support of somebody who's done it.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah.
Danny Rios: Huge for me. Yeah.
Mike Bledsoe: What about you, Ben?
Ben Walker: For me, having a coach is the most effective and the quickest way to reach your goals. Because for me, a year ago, I was an actor want to be coach doing a bunch of work that I was uninspired by, seeing all this fitness stuff that I so desperately wanted to be a part of and I had no idea how to access it. Fast forward a year, I moved out of New York City. I coach people all across the world and I'm speaking into this microphone next to Danny Rios and Mike Bledsoe and those were all goals that I would have had no chance of achieving in such a short time, if it weren't for having a coach to tell me what I had to do to get there.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. I've had that experience. I was talking to a guy today and he was looking for some guidance. He reminded me of me a lot. We were talking about the cost of different programs. I was talking. I was telling him about this program. He goes, "I'm afraid to ask the price tag." This is for Training Camp for the Soul. I told him and he's like, "Woo." I go, "Man." I told him the story of the first time I drop major coin on something like that.
I said that the first conference I went to where I was intentionally going to interact with people network and get information on how to grow my business. I dropped seven grand and I had to like pull from this bank account and then get creative with credit cards and all sorts of stuff and drain my bank account to zero to go to this thing. My risk tolerance is pretty high compared to most people. I'm not saying, "I can do this folks," but this is how much it matters to me is to get that support and that guidance.
That when I did that, the first time I did it, I went, it's seven grand, spent seven days at this event. Then, where I got a lot of guidance, I came home and 10Xed our business revenue in the first month. Just because of some insights I got it. It was nothing groundbreaking. It's something that happens in business all the time, this type of business model in the coaching industry. When we activated that program online, we got a ton of clients paying us monthly revenue.
It was a huge growth spurt that could only happen for that. I told him, I said, "Hey, I'm not guaranteeing that if you do one of these programs that you're going to 10 X your income in a month. That's what's possible." That would have not been possible for me. I was stuck. I had hit the ceiling and I had no idea how to make it better. Going and seeking out that guidance was instrumental. My entire life changed in 2013. I'd had some fitness coaches and some health coaches and stuff like that. I had never invested in coaching outside of those two things.
Then, I went and got the business coaching and just holy shit. I started viewing the whole world differently. Where I was living at the time, I didn't have access to that level of coaching where I was living. There was definitely some business coaching going on, but it just … it wasn't at the level I was desiring. Because what had happened is I had traveled to these events and I had interacted with people who they travel the world to have a world audience. Not like, "Hey, I coach the local businesses down the street." There's nothing wrong with it. That's great.
I'd already gotten ruined. I had been polluted with fine taste in coaching and so not only did I drop, the first year, I dropped about 75K on personal development. I didn't even make that amount of money the year before. Because I kept going back, I kept on finding new ways to make money that were much easier, a lot less work than what I had done before. Not only did I have travel to all these events, let's say it was almost like once every month or two, I was going to something new. Yeah, I was traveling for it.
I was constantly interacting with people who are not in my circle. I had the exposure to high level coaches and exposure to people from other places. That turned my brain on in a million different ways. It was really, really beneficial. For me, I like coaching in community. I go, "Yeah, coaching is effective. It's the best way to get there." I have a coach where I sit down with him once a week and he drills down and just me. I pay an uncomfortable amount because I know if I pay an uncomfortable amount, then I'll show up fully. I'm not going to flush that money down the toilet.
Yeah. For me, it's about who am I spending time around? What's my atmosphere like? What's my environment like? Who am I listening to for guidance? That's been my experience of when I had coaches earlier on, I didn't pay them and I think that's why I didn't get as much out of it. The moment I started paying for coaching, which was back in 2013, that's when things picked up really quickly because the level of commitment went up.
Danny Rios: You were invested.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah, I was invested in the process.
Ben Walker: Shortly before joining The Strong Coach, I was a part of another mentorship program that was … there was less structure and it was 25 bucks a month. Even though logically I knew, "I should be making an effort to go to these meetings, I didn't care."
The Price Of Having The Life You Want
Then come do The Strong Coach and because literally it costs exactly how much money I had in my savings account. I would have sat in a burning building if it meant making one of those calls because of that level of investment.
Mike Bledsoe: I hear that all the time. People go, "That's all I have," or "I'm going to have to go find that money or something like that." I go, "Okay." I think we all do this is when someone says that, we encourage them. The reason is because we know what's on the other side. They have no idea. If they had an idea what was on the other side, it's because they already had traveled the path. Because they'd never done it before, they don't know what they don't know as you had mentioned before, Danny. When they get to the end, it's, "Oh, that's why it's like that."
Ben Walker: What is the price of having the life that you want? Because like you were talking to that guy, he's talking about Training Camp for the Soul. Training Camp for the Soul is an investment and he was in his 20s, right?
Mike Bledsoe: Twenty-four, yeah.
Ben Walker: Yeah. He's got 80 more years to live. Is that …
Mike Bledsoe: The earlier you do it, the better, man.
Ben Walker: Yes. Yes. Absolutely. Can you put a price on if you're unhappy now drastically improving your life for the next 80 years, how can you put any kind of number on that?
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah, I think, that actually brings me to coaches who I hear this come out of coach's mouths a lot of times, which is, well first, they're trying to work through like a money issue. They have a hard time charging a certain amount of money. They're going, "I don't know if I can raise my rate from 25 bucks an hour to 40 bucks an hour. Oh my god, I'm freaking out." Then, it flips to, "I am worthy of $40 an hour," or "I am worthy of $60,000 a year or $100,000 or $1 million a year. I'm worthy of that."
I always think it's funny because I'm like, "No, that's bullshit too." A human life is not worth anything and it's worth everything. To start placing a numeric value on what your life is, I say, throw that shit away. Throw away the tying self-worth to finances. Because the one day your finances take a shit, which they do for all of us, we hit bumps in the road. For those people, if you're tying your personal value to the amount of money that you're asking for or making, when things do go south, at some point, your own self value is going to diminish as well.
Coming up out of that hole gets tough, because if your value is tied to what you're charging, then it's a recipe for potential disaster in the future. You may get a short term benefit out of it. What I encourage people to do is see if they can get to a place where they don't attach. I don't want to hear people say, "I'm worth X amount of dollars." It's like, "No, I want to charge that amount of dollars because we've mapped out, "Hey, this is the lifestyle I want to live. Okay, that requires this so I want to work 20 days of the month, so how much do I need to make in a day?"
We start working that backwards. Okay. It has nothing to do with what you're worth. People are throwing numbers around all the time just because of how it feels. For me, I go, what do I desire? What's the lifestyle I desire? Okay. I know I need to make this much per gay to live that lifestyle and that means that my business needs to make this much money and this means this and this and this. The next thing I know, I know exactly what to charge clients. A lot of times, people ask me like, "Why do you charge what you charge?" I go, "That's exactly why."
It's between getting a level of commitment from them and simultaneously what does it have to do to make it worth my time? If I'm not working, my life is so fucking cool that if you're going to stop me from doing my really fucking cool shit, it better pay. It better pay well. For me, it's like whatever you desire.
Ben Walker: The thing is too, if you're placing your value in money, you're literally placing your value in something that's imaginary.
Mike Bledsoe: Yup.
Ben Walker: Because if you hold a dollar bill in your hand, okay, you could say that's worth a dollar. What is it? That literal physical object worth? It's a piece of paper with some ink on it. It's only worth a dollar because enough people agree that it's worth a dollar. If enough people said, "No, that's worth nothing," it would stop being worth anything.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah, it's all made up.
Ben Walker: Exactly. Exactly.
Mike Bledsoe: People get hung up on the amount of something is, I mean, I used to do it and I now sit here and it's mind boggling. I used to operate from a place where I only need to make what I need. I don't need much. I don't want to charge them because I'm afraid it's going to hurt them. A lot of people think that it may be painful for them to spend that amount of money, but most of your clients, for most coaches, most of their clients are making more money than they are, especially with the health and fitness industry.
I like working with business coaches who make more money than me. That fucking makes sense.
Ben Walker: Yeah. Because you can coach up.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. We're selecting up. I won't even go to a conference. Someone says, "This conference, it's 500 bucks." I'm like, "Pass." I don't attend anything under 2000 bucks. If it's not 2000 bucks then I just know the level of information that's going to be there and the type of person who's going to show up. It's low commitment people and that which means that the message is going to be towards people who are trying to spend the majority of time trying to sway them into buying something that's of low value.
I was like, "I don't want to be in a low value room. I want to be a high value room."
Ben Walker: You want to be in a room of people who actually want to be there.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah, and have been choosing that for a while. They figured out that game. You're not going to find Richard Branson at a 2000 or $5,000 event. You're going to run them at a $50,000 event.
Danny Rios: Yeah. You want to get yourself in that circle with people that you want to play at that level they're in. Oftentimes, when choosing a coach as one of the things that I recommend to coaches is look at people's lifestyles, look what they've created in their lives because that's what they're going to teach you.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah.
Danny Rios: You see conferences where people are paying 10 grand to be in in a room of a lot of people. That's not a bad room to be in. Everybody in there made that investment and everybody in that room is already thinking different like we talked about. Yeah.
Their Biggest Investments In Personal & Business Development
Mike Bledsoe: All right. We're talking about money. What's you all's biggest investment in yourself as far as personal development, business development, whatever.
Danny Rios: For me, the biggest investment really was after I made my first investment in coaching and it started happening when I went to a live seminar under UDID. I went to a couple before that in 2017 and 2018, I've added up close to 30K in personal development, in business development, in coaching and the return of investment financially has been there already. What it's done for my life is priceless. Like you said, it's the tools that I've gained from working with coaches and programs and experiences and mentorship is priceless, has added so many tools to my belt that is going to keep going for the rest of my life.
Language, Frameworks, and Mantras
Mike Bledsoe: Let's talk about the tools real quick because that's interesting. That's interesting. The tools that I've found fall into the category of, I don't know what I don't know. I didn't even know that that tool was that valuable. Right? Most people buy, they buy the benefit not the tool. What are some tools that you came across that surprised you? You go, "Oh, this tool is something I can apply to every aspect of my life or a tool to deal with certain situations." What are some of your, let's start with the mind blowing tools as you started adopting some of these tools, which one stands out as the thing that really got you?
Danny Rios: Language.
Mike Bledsoe: Language.
Danny Rios: Language is big. Once you understand very simple frameworks of language and you practice them long enough, you process things differently in your head. You communicate differently, you start getting different results. For me it is the foundation of my coaching and helping the people that we got in the support find accuracy through language.
Mike Bledsoe: There's something you said interesting to me the other day, which was, it was along the lines of, "Oh, you process things differently now." Since I started doing the language work, I now process things differently. Can you describe what that is?
Danny Rios: Yeah, so before me gave me a complete different framework on how to experience my life, is we go back to the whole relationship with money thing. Oftentimes, people telling me, "I don't want to worry about money." You could have zero dollars in your bank account or you have $20 million in your bank account, you could still worry about money. Just understanding the framework of what language is creating for people there and knowing that you have access to changing that and going about your entire life differently is an amazing tool.
For me, I've had experiences five years into owning a gym, where if something would have happened five years from now, shit would have hit the fan for me. Emotionally, it would have rocked me. I go through it now and I process it much different. Oftentimes, in the past, it would take me to the worst case scenario. It would eliminate all possibilities of what can be created. Once I started focusing on the language piece of it, I process things in the world of possibilities. Anything that happens, I automatically start focusing on what can I do. Just that simple framework.
Mike Bledsoe: Can you go and more detail about the framework?
Danny Rios: Yeah.
Mike Bledsoe: This is like one of a hundred.
Danny Rios: Yeah, it's one of a hundred yet is so simple. Most people are focusing on what they don't want. They're focusing on that worst case scenario. When we're focusing on that, that's all you can create. You eliminate all possibilities of anything else happening.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. Wherever your attention goes, let's say wherever your attention goes, energy flows. Wherever your attention is at, that's why it's getting created is because you're putting so much attention on it and so subconsciously, you're talking your body into that happening. If that's what's happening for you then it starts screwing you up.
Danny Rios: Yup. For me, I've personally lost weight since I started doing this kind of work. I haven't changed my external world much. My internal world has changed. I am way more relaxed. The world that I create for myself just works for me better, all around.
Ben Walker: The language is even in that phrase that you get so often from coaches is I don't want to worry about money. Okay, what do you want to worry about? Do you want to worry about anything? Even speaking worry into that is a language problem. Instead, it not exactly sure off the top of my head what that negation would translate to. Translating that to something where it's, what do you want? As opposed to what don't you want?
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah, so what's one that's blown your mind, a tool you've used and that's been really beneficial? I know language is big for you too, but if you've got something else?
Ben Walker: Yeah. It's mantras. Mantras have been huge for me, which a mantra is a short, specific I am statement. Like one I'm working on now that I'm having a lot of fun with since Training Camp for the Soul is I celebrate everything. What that does is like how you say in The Strong Coach module is that when you say the mantra and you associate that mantra with a goal, you become the person who does that thing. You become the person who has already achieved the goal because ultimately before you achieve the goal, you have to be the person who can even do it.
Mike Bledsoe: I'll point out that it's not about getting the satisfaction of having it completed. I think some people get hung up on that. They go, "I don't want to act like I already did it because that would be a lie. If I feel like I did it, then I won't do it." What we're talking about is putting your self in process, putting your self in process of becoming that person. The attention is on the process, not the result.
You set the result out here and then you identify that the process is to become this person, to shift your identity into being the type of person who accomplishes the goal. Then, all the attention goes into that identity, the process of shifting the identity. Then, one day, you wake up and you go, "Oh, fuck. I passed my goal last month, I barely noticed. I've been having so much fun." You have that experience?
Ben Walker: Yeah. I've lived my perfect day a couple times and I've never realized it until the day is over. I was like, "Oh, shit, check that out. I just did that. Cool. What can I do next? What can I add to this?" This was a perfect goal that was maybe a five or 10 year goal of a perfect day and if I achieved it in six months, I could be on the moon in 10 years. What level of possibility can I take my vision to once I've established the identity of someone who can accomplish those unreasonable goals?
Danny Rios: For me, two mantras that were powerful from The Strong Coach program. Why I'm sitting here right now, I wrote down there that I have a global impact and I collaborate with others. I simply wrote that down, had really no clue what that meant. It just felt good at the time. When I saw opportunities to, yeah, it just felt good. Literally felt good.
Mike Bledsoe: Fuck it, let's have a global impact.
Danny Rios: You got to be careful. You got to be careful with this shit because I've done the same thing. I do that. I'm like, yeah, I can do that thing and I've got to shift my identity to be the kind of person that does a thing. It's no small shift. There's something wrong with us.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah.
Danny Rios: Yeah. We forget that the grander the shift that we're going to experience, the more painful the process will be because you have to go further. It's more about like, "Okay, I'm going to like do this, I'm going to shift my identity, I got to shut the old thing," which is painful. Then for me, I do this really grand thing and then I get two or three days until I go, "Oh, shit, I'm going to be here for a while."
Mike Bledsoe: Maybe a lifetime.
Danny Rios: This is what I asked for. This is what I asked for. I reminded myself of that today. I'm like, "I asked for this, I asked for this," got a little chuckle out of it, because honestly I'd be bored otherwise. I'd be completely bored out of my mind if I wasn't pushing. I think I'll be pushing the identity envelope to the very end.
Mike Bledsoe: Absolutely.
Danny Rios: Yeah.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. What was your two mantras?
Danny Rios: I have a global impact and I collaborate with others.
Mike Bledsoe: What happened?
Danny Rios: I was going through The Strong Coach program. At that time, Mike was everybody's mentor. Pretty cool experience. In a conversation with him, I was really excited and fired up about the program. I asked you that I want a support and you asked me how. I told you because I have a global impact and I collaborate with others. I told you that straight out. It allowed me to connect the dots where if I support your mission, I go global impact and I'll collaborate with others.
You just don't know how it's going to show up. That mantra at the time, it wasn't the most impactful yet it shifted everything in my life, everything in my life. You just don't know what those statements and identities that you're creating for yourself can lead to. It's very powerful to be intentional with it. The better you can apply language, go take it back to language, the more you know how to create this tools to be simple for your brain to follow and for you to follow, the easier it gets. It's a very simple tool, very, very simple tool.
It blew my mind, going through it in applying those mantras in my life.
Shifts In Communication As A Coach
Mike Bledsoe: Let's talk about communication as a coach. How has your, Ben, we'll start with you. How has your communication shifted over time?
Ben Walker: It shifted from feeling like I have to have all the answers. Coming at coaching from purely a teaching perspective of, oh, you have a problem? Do this. Bye. That was it. Now, my coaching is all about, I'm here, I'm here to be present and I'm going to ask the questions. I'm going to ask that question where you feel everything tightened up and that's the one that's going to bring the answers out of you. The communication between me and my clients has gone from me disseminating information to me pulling the answers out of them and showing them how to do it themselves so that they're the ones that say … I even had a client call me out on this.
He's like, "Hey, wait a minute. I'm doing all the work here. You're just asking me questions." I was like, "Yeah, that's what it is now."
Mike Bledsoe: It's my job.
Ben Walker: Exactly. If you were to take coaching down to a really base, simple level, they'd be asking questions. Being able to have that kind of communication with your clients is so much more powerful because this is how to win friends and influence people. The best way to get someone to do what you want is to make them think it's their idea.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah.
Ben Walker: When you coach someone like that, they're the ones coming up with all the ideas.
Mike Bledsoe: Are you surprised or do you know where they're going most of the time?
Ben Walker: Most of the time, I know where they're going.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. How often do you get surprised?
Ben Walker: I'd say one out of five times I'm surprised. It is often, it's like they say a perfect mantra. It's like, "Oh shit, that was it. How do I get them to say that?" Because I know that like that's the one. Say, 95% of the time I'm dead on with that. It's much more powerful when I can get them to say it first instead of me feeding it to them.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. I find the higher level, the coaching, the more surprised I am. If I'm coaching somebody on some pretty basic shit, I know where they're going with this or if they're new. Then, when I get someone in like the Training Camp for the Soul environment, I'm like 50, 50. I'm like I know what they're going to get out of this. In the other half the time I'm going, "Oh shit, I didn't even know that was coming up."
Yeah, leading people do their own process of discovery, for me, is way more satisfying than just telling them what to do. I had a huge insight around this years ago. I had all four of my walls in my office painted chalkboard black. I had all those chalk in there. Right in front of my desk, I wrote the word discovery. I wrote it's the most important thing for people to have for themselves.
I was thinking about that in regard to leadership and coaching. If you're a coach, you're a leader. You're leading people. That's another thing I like to look at coaching through that lens is that's why I think a lot of coaches don't think of themselves as leaders, and that's one reason that they're not doing as well as they'd like. Once they make that shift to like I am a leader, then they start taking on. That's an identity. They start taking on a bigger identity and taking more responsibility for what's happening in their space and creating which then turn creates a sense of safety for clients in which they can then go and explore.
Because most people are not going to explore where they have fear, so create safety, then, that safety … This all happens in communication, creating safety for them and they feel safe. I can explore. Asking a lot of questions and being receptive and actually listening to people is a great way to make them feel safe, because most people walk around this world never feeling as though they've been listened to. I've had people who open up to me about things in the first five minutes of meeting me, who then stepped back and go, "Holy shit. I've never shared that with anyone," and look at me like I'm a wizard or something.
I always got a shitting grin on my face. This happened just last week at training camp. I was in a conversation with one of our clients. He reflected back to me. He goes, "Oh, you do that a lot." I go, "Do what?" He goes, "You ask questions and then you just stay silent. I just keep going and going and going and going." He's been through a couple of our programs, went to the summit. It just donned on me, he goes, "We're playing the curiosity game and live," which is always different. He noticed that I only asked a few questions. I would allow silence to exist there so he'd just keep divulging more and more and more.
He was like, "Okay." I was like, "Try that when you go home and you're coaching, shut your mouth a little more."
Ben Walker: It's like the level two of the curiosity game is the silent game of when it stops and you can just sit there and look at them.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah.
Ben Walker: Wait.
Mike Bledsoe: If we want to talk about this style of communication where you're being curious, you're just asking, being present and asking the next obvious question that comes up and not trying to think of what the next question is that come up. The things following your curiosity, it's a practice. It's an amazing practice. That's like curiosity is my guide. That's one of my number one phrases that I use for myself. It's a good reminder when I get into hairy situations like, "Oh, my curiosity got me here." My curiosity usually takes me to amazing places.
People are like, "How does all this stuff happen to you?" I go, "I'm being curious." They're like, "Why did you do that?" I was like, "I was just curious what would happen if I did that." Sometimes, it's a trip to the ER, but most of the time, most of the time it's the most epic adventure I've ever had. When I tell the story, people go, "That can't be real." I'm like, "You can talk to this person, this person, they were there."
I don't know. I went off on curiosity. Curiosity came up and I just … I'm so excited about it. I'm so excited about curiosity.
Ben Walker: It can be so powerful just like in the way you talk to someone, because I had an hour long coaching call with someone. I set the intention of I'm going to see how long I can play the curiosity game with her. I went for 52 minutes and 38 seconds. I stopped because she was hysterically crying because we went that deep. I was like, "Okay, I'm going to give her some nurturing and love and drop some positivity on her." We got there and we got there because of the curiosity game of like, Oh tell me about that. Tell me about that. Tell me about that.
That is how you get that deep with your clients.
Mike Bledsoe: I want to point this out is on the flip side, the way most people are communicating, because people may be confused at this point, the way most people are communicating is they ask a question, the person starts answering and then they start thinking about the next thing they're going to say. The curiosity game has played in a way in which you're not allowed to comment or acknowledge the other person for anything they're saying. You can only ask them the next question. It puts you in a funny spot. I recommend practicing it with somebody where they know it's being played in the beginning and then over time it simply integrates into how you are coaching.
For me, it's integrating to just my life dating with the curiosity game. Girls are like, "I never opened up to anyone like this before. I feel so connected." I'm like, "Yeah, my first time to."
Ben Walker: I've got a buddy who's actually … He said he's been making the intention as he's dating to play the curiosity game like in text messages, on dates, until she asks him a question. He said that there's one girl who he's been playing it with her for a week. She hasn't asked him a single question yet.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah, yeah. I'm going to stay away from the stories. They might emerge naturally in shows to come.
Ben Walker: Who knows?
Mike Bledsoe: Who knows? We'll see some things are up in the air. You don't want to, I mean, she might watch. You're not watching this. No.
Danny Rios: For me, communication and what I bring to it and what it's done for me is it helps me find accuracy and where my focus should be and playing that curiosity game. You can find yourself a rabbit hole and just dive deep into it. Oftentimes, what it is for a lot of people that I support, their focus is soft where they need to be. Just with communication, just asking questions, asking questions. We're able to find some solid work from there and being able to grasp reality and really what is happening through simple language tools and asking questions is a tool that for me and my personal life, helps me out. It's also good in dating.
It's very powerful for coaches that come into … A lot of coach in the fitness industry that we talk to only have spent time in learning movement and teaching movement.
Mike Bledsoe: Movement and program design?
Danny Rios: Movement and program design. When they hop on the phone and we take them through a process where we're finding accuracy and we get off the call and we have a 10 year vision. What you're going to do in three years, in one year? It all came from them. It all came from asking questions. It all came about from being curious and finding accuracy. Powerful stuff.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah.
Ben Walker: Even just writing it down, the simple act of writing it down. What do you want? Write it down. Then, it's got a physical existence. You can actually see it and then say it out loud and check in with how you feel, saying that out loud. I remember goal setting with you when I was going through the program and saying, it was something like 10 years from now, I live in a mountain house in Colorado and feeling the chills go all the way up my spine, that feeling of lightness and excitement in my head.
I didn't know that I could do that. I didn't know that was a thing you could do. I had no idea how powerful it was. That's such a simple thing that then, if you know how to do that, you bring it to your clients and their head just explodes, doesn't just explode. It does explode. Soft talk acknowledged.
Mike Bledsoe: The thing about the, again, the curiosity game is it's really about getting into your client's world. What I find with the trouble with most coaches and how I used to be was I was so engrossed in my own world that I couldn't connect with my clients. They'd never felt like I was listening to them because I was so focused on myself. Getting into the curiosity game where you're leaving out acknowledgement or trying to add to the conversation at all, you're only asking questions, it's transformative for the coach who does it.
Because it gets your self out of the way, allows you to really connect with the client, really know what they need next. Most coaches are like, "How am I going to know?" I imagine that there are certain coaches out there who are afraid that they're not going to be able to help their clients. As long as they're not asking good questions, I don't care how many certifications you have. You're not going to help your clients. If you know how to ask good questions, like you were saying before, clients will help themselves a lot of times. The biggest things that are keeping them from reaching their goals.
They know you're not supposed to be eating those donuts, but they do it anyway. There's something else that's causing that. Until we get to that, all the squats and bench press are only going to take us so far.
Danny Rios: The curiosity game is something that supports coach a lot in the sales process too. Oftentimes, going back to understanding what the client needs, a lot of coaches struggle in connecting their services to the pain point that that client has. Sometimes, you'll ask and it's very superficial. It's like, "That person wants to lose weight." Yeah. That's part of it, but how it shows up on the outside …
Mike Bledsoe: She doesn't want to lose weight. She doesn't want her husband to leave her.
Danny Rios: Yeah.
Ben Walker: Yes.
Mike Bledsoe: That's what it comes out. When you're able to get deep inside the rabbit hole enough to find out where the client's minds at, it does a lot of things for you. The first one that it's going to do for you is going to allow you to give your services and connect it to something that actually means something to them. That's the first one. The curiosity game is going to tell you how your clients speaks. How that client speaks is going to be very similar to how all the other clients speak.
It's going to help you in marketing. It's going to allow you to create services for your clients. You're going to understand what your clients need, what they're saying and could create new offers, new services for your clients. It's very powerful to be curious in business. It helps. It has helped me in everything that I do, not just coaching, everything that I do.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah, that's an interesting point is if you're listening to your clients and you're creating offers that are specific to them, what they're asking for and that impacts your marketing because your offer is part of your marketing, your offering is using some business talk here. Your offering, it's your package, it's what you're selling. The issue is most coaches are selling whatever the fuck, whatever gym they're at before was selling. They're looking down the guy or the girl down the road and it's like, "What's their package? I'll do something a little bit cheaper or maybe a little bit different and this and that."
The best way to differentiate yourself in this crowded market is to listen to your clients, find your favorite clients, and then gear all your marketing towards those people. It's counterintuitive because people have a scarcity mindset and for some reason think that there aren't seven billion people on the planet. What you do is you get to work with your favorite clients. You market to those people. Because the more specific you get, the more universal the message becomes. That's another counterintuitive concept.
When you go into the application of that concept, it reveals itself as true. You go, "Oh wow, okay. This really, really works." The best way, a lot of times you ask, how can I differentiate myself in this crowded coaching market is, yeah, really connect with your clients, be authentic, connect vulnerably, have really good communication. Then, if you're doing that, here's the thing is 1% of the coaches are doing that, so all you got to do is that, and now you're going to skyrocket.
When I travel around and I've interviewed so many high level coaches, one thing I find from them is they're attracting a certain type of client. They are 100% themselves. It's like Louie Simmons at Westside Barbell. That dude attracted prisoners for a while. You walk in that gym and that's like the type of person that was going to do that type of training with him. Then you look at Zach Even-Esh who coaches high school wrestlers in strength and conditioning. He really cares about the kids and he really listens to them and he's all in their entire life and all that kind of stuff.
He attracts the right crowd. He attracts those people. You look at different coaches that are out there, Zach Even-Esh as a coach has more flow than say Louie. The flow at Westside, it drips in and drips out and good thing he invented some things that make a lot of money, because I don't think he's making any money off the gym or off coaching. He's making money off of the glute.
Ben Walker: The thing too that's important about not only dialing in your marketing to reach a specific kind of client is that client is also going to be the kind of client you enjoy training. Because if you really enjoy training football players and a stay at home mom comes in who wants an intro session. She's totally worthy of being your client, but you're probably not going to enjoy training her as much because she's not a football player.
You want to dial your marketing in so that it's all of the football players coming to you as opposed to the stay at home moms.
What To Look For In A Coach
Mike Bledsoe: All right. We'll get down to some nuts and bolts. What do you tell people who are looking for a coach? Someone's looking for a coach. What should they do?
Ben Walker: Find a coach that has a coach because …
Mike Bledsoe: That's a good sign of coach. Lone wolfing it, that's …
Ben Walker: Yeah. Because there's an element where that coach then is unconsciously putting out the energy that I don't need a coach, I've made it and nobody's made it. I've got a coach, Danny's got a coach, you've got a coach, your coach probably has a coach.
Mike Bledsoe: I know the line. I know his coach is and I know that that guy, what his circle is. There's a lineage in which I'm familiar.
Ben Walker: Because you can even take that back to an evolutionary standpoint of the animals that didn't grow and change. They're not around anymore. That's why when you watch a nature documentary, like this animal hasn't changed since the dinosaurs because every animal that didn't change since the dinosaurs isn't around, they all died. If you're not growing and evolving, then you're not going to be around five to ten years from now.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. Don't hire any dinosaurs as coaches. No dinosaurs. None whatsoever. Yeah. What about you, Danny?
Danny Rios: For me and looking to hire coach and what I advise coaches to do is we go back to the theme of the hero's journey. What I recommend coaches to do is to find coaches that have been through that path that you're seeking to go through. If you want to build a six figure business, find a coach that has done that seven figure business, find a coach that has done that because they've been through the journey, they're going to see the bigger picture. Somebody that can spot the bigger picture can better support you where you're at and point you to the step that you need to go.
For me is understanding that coach's lifestyle, what they've created. Because ultimately, you're going to take a lot of information that you're going to apply to your life. When you're looking to hire a coach, look that their values are in alignment with you. When you're looking for a coach, ask those questions. Ask those questions, how that coach can support you. It should make sense for your life. They should be able to show you what the next step is and paint a clear picture of the whole thing. That's how I look for a coach. That's what I recommend for coaches to do when hiring a coach.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. The mission piece is interesting because my personal mission is in alignment with my coach's personal mission. It's like we're getting in there together to do the work. By helping me, he's going towards the same goal. When I go to, once a quarter he has a gathering and I go and interact with his other clients. There might be eight of us in the room. I sometimes wonder, I'm like, how's that guy with me? Like we're so different.
One guy is like a top 40 pop artist who lives in New York and have this YouTube video thing blow up. I'm running my coaching business. I was like, "What do we have in common?" By halfway through the day when I go, "Oh, we're all doing the same work. I love this, I love this." Then, choosing a coach that has the lifestyle you want or something close to it. I wouldn't say exactly all the time. Yeah, I had a client recently who realized that he had made a major life decision of getting married to somebody based on what his single uncle of 40 years old told him.
He's never been married. Single uncle was giving him marriage advice. He took it. Then, realized that he had made a series of decisions that led to a lot of pain and suffering based off of that. He's like, "I hear people all the time." I'm like, "I'm not telling you not to listen to your parents, but sometimes when your parents are giving you career advice or a professor at a school is giving you career advice who's never had anything outside of academia or your boss giving you career advice. Look at them as your bosses. Do you want that fucking job?
Look at his life. What's it like at home? Don't listen to that person. Are your parents, are they truly happy and successful and living the type of life you want? It's good to listen to them for advice. I'm not saying not to, but I think that most parents are giving very dangerous advice in regard to career right now because they don't understand the times are changing very fast. Technology shifting so fast and formal education is less and less valuable by the minute because we have access to all information all the time.
They used to lock the books up in a library at the university and that's why you had to go to the university. That's just not true anymore. A major component of what made universities so valuable doesn't even exist anymore. What's keeping people in that system is tradition. There's this core belief that's been passed down from generation to generation and it hasn't been that long. It's been the last 20 years. Our parents needed to go to university if they were to have the type of knowledge you might need to get the job you wanted to get. I have friends in their mid-20a that are millionaires and have no degree and basically did a bunch of online programs to learn how to do sales and marketing and run their business.
They hired mentors left and right and they climbed the ladder in two, three years. Now, they're running seven figure coaching businesses and things like that because they figured the game out and started playing it instead of taking advice from people who they shouldn't be listening to. Yeah, find that mentor, find that coach who is living the lifestyle or at least capable of living the lifestyle that you would want to live and go find out from them. There's usually a much more direct line there than what people think.
The way I used to approach you it was, "Oh, this is what I want. This is how much money I'm going to have to make. How do I make that kind of money?" I just would focus on how much money I needed to make. Then, I one day realized, "Oh, I got to start making moves towards what I want regardless of what's happening with the money." When I started seeing these as separate things as like, "Oh, I got to make money," but I started making moves in that direction and all of a sudden the money started showing up.
I go, "This all works together. You're not going to wait for one to come over to the other. You have to make the move into being that person who is doing that thing because if you're not, the money won't show up
Danny Rios: Yeah. A lot of people make a lot of this financial goals and other things connected to that very conditional. For example, I was on a call with a coach who he wanted to receive a large amount of money because he wants to support the people he loves. Then I asked him, "Can you support people that you love now without that money in your bank account?" It's like, "I can do that."
What we moved the conversation to is you can start being that person now. When that money that you do desire is there, you can already support the people that you love and oftentimes is what happens. People make these financial goals conditional and it removes access to what they could have if the money's there or not. That's just one piece. People make goals like that, personal goals, they make them conditional and they don't have to be that way.
The biggest advice I can give a coach when going through this process themselves and creating this goals, this financial goals, it's always put your life first and see what you want to experience, see what you want to feel, see what you want to create in your life. Money's not going to give you that satisfaction. It's you're digging in a hole that eventually you go down, we'll go back to that rabbit hole, you dive deep enough. It's not about the money. We're going to go back to that relationship with money and it's an endless opportunity always for people to dive deep into that because money's infinite and the possibilities are infinite.
Yeah, negation acknowledge. Don't make our goals conditional based on how much money you have in the bank account on how you show up in life. That does not change how you show up in life. It doesn't show up who you are as a person. Your contribution to the world is not tied to a bank account.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. Wise words.
Ben Walker: In the spirit of specificity, if your goal is around money and you don't make any goals around the lifestyle you want, great. You're a millionaire. You still live in your mom's basement. Are you happy? You have this money, but you have not set any kind of goal about what you're going to do with it.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. I was just talking to somebody who made, they're like, "Man, I make good money and duh, duh. I'm not happy." I'm like, "Oh, yeah, what have you spent money on?" He's like, "It's bullshit." I was like, fast cars and motorcycles and trust me, nothing wrong with that. I love that shit. I love getting an M3 and hit that shit hard, but it's like, why are you doing it? Because if you don't have any identity goals of who you're becoming in the future, yeah, you'll get that money. You'll buy some toys and then you'll wonder why you're sad instead of moving somewhere with your life.
I like what you said that don't make money conditional to living a life and being the person you want to be. People are always waiting for that. It's sad because people tend to tie those things together. One of the reasons we talk about money like, hey, if you don't like the fact that we're talking about money, you may not want to tune into this show ever again because it'll probably come up quite often because money plays a role in our life every single day.
There's money coming in, there's money going out constantly. It impacts everything. Most people's minds are on that when making decisions. We could shy away from the subject because it's uncomfortable, but we're not uncomfortable with it, so.
Ben Walker: We're fine with it. We are at peace without money.
Mike Bledsoe: It took a lot of work. Just real quick. What kind of work did you have to do around it?
Danny Rios: For me, a lot of it was guilt and shame early on. Guilt and shame of having the money, I've created a lot of mantras to support me in that process. I remember one early on is I'm a money magnet. It's funny, around this time that I was doing it, I was finding a lot of money on the ground. I know because I would say it out loud, I would find money. I'm a money magnet and really own it and step into it. It was scary. That's one of the big one that comes to mind for me.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. What about you, Ben?
Ben Walker: For me, it was being in scarcity and agonizing over every single purchase. I found out in some journaling exercises that I've been doing that it came from buying a deck of Pokemon cards when I was little and it cost $10 and I got admonished, like, "How could you spend $10 on that? People slave away for $10." That then conditioned me to agonize over every single purchase. Then, I went broke to join The Strong Coach and rip that band aid off. It became way easier since.
Then, I was able to drop almost twice that on Training Camp for the Soul and be totally fine with it.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah, I went broke starting The Strong Coach. We all come from the same place. I get my bank count on 100 bucks about a year and a half ago. I did it because A, I was dedicated to only acting out of inspiration. I wasn't feeling inspired to work. First time I took a break in like 20 years folks. I decided I go, "I'm willing to take off the entire year of 2018." I didn't even worry about … I didn't plan out the financial side of it all. I'm just like, "Let's see what happens. Roll the dice."
Like I said at the beginning of the show, my risk tolerance is high. I don't expect people to do the same thing. The experiment was watching the bank account dwindle and dwindle and dwindle and dwindle and me as it got smaller, feeling okay with it. I was curious because I was like, "Normally if this would have happened to me a few years ago, I would have freaked out." I would've been stressed. I would've made it mean that I wasn't worth anything. My own personal value would be taking a hit. I wouldn't be able to look at my bank account. It would hurt.
I would go in and look at it every day and it got under a hundred bucks. I go, "Oh, okay." I didn't know I was going to buy groceries that week. The next day, I know not everyone has this thing going for them because I have a podcast, this company sent me a bunch of food for free. You never know how it shows up, you know? That's how it showed up for me. I was like, oh, I could eat. Then the next day, I had put some stuff out to sell online. I think move some Strong Coach spots or something. I was just launching The Strong Coach and a few thousand bucks rolled in.
I go, "Okay. I can make all my payments now this month and cool. I can make rent and eat food and pump gas." It took years to get to that point where like the amount of money didn't impact me. Right now, where I'm at is a year and a half later is seeing where my discomfort is when the money gets to be too much. What's the amount of money that I can manage without feeling like I'm not worth having that amount of money or something like that. Where's that ceiling? We're going to blast through that.
Danny Rios: Let's do it time.
Ben Walker: Yes.
Closing Thoughts: Get A Free Three-Step Coaching Business Tune Up!
Mike Bledsoe: We have a good time. All right. We'll wrap it up there. I have more notes, but I'm going to save it for a future show. That's what these conversations are great because it just keeps on generating more and more really cool conversations.
If you're wondering, if you're a coach, if you're a coach and you want to build your six figure coaching business, go over to strongcoachpodcast.com and you can get a free three-step coaching business tune up. Go to strongcoachpodcast.com. You can get that tune up there.
You can get on a phone call with Mr. Danny Rios sitting right next to me. You spend like a half hour, maybe?
Danny Rios: We go a little deeper. We book you for an hour. We're going to give you a lot of value.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. You're coaching them on this call.
Danny Rios: I'm coaching them on this call.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. There are a lot of people who will jump on this call and leave and have in one call have enough answers to make a major shift in their business or their life.
Danny Rios: We've had people open up gyms from this phone call. We've had today's phone call, we created an offer for a guy to hit … for a coach to hit his financial goals with 20 clients. It was a 10 year goal that we brought down to six months by just finding more accuracy. The possibilities are endless. That's what we can do in the phone call. We could do some major stuff for you in your life in that call.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. That's free, so strongcoachpodcast.com. Get your three-step coaching business tune up, click that Become A Strong Coach button and you'll start your path with us. Come hang out with us. By the way, if you're following us on Instagram at The Strong Coach, you'll notice that there's a lot of us. There's a lot of strong coaches out there. We're having a good time.