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The EntreMD Podcast

The EntreMD Podcast with Dr. Una | Are High-Ticket Coaching Programs a Scam?It’s not infrequent that I’ll be on Facebook and someone will ask me about a coaching program. Then suddenly, a bunch of people come crawling out of the woodwork talking about how coaching is a scam, it’s just some kind of MLM thing. And they truly believe in what they’re saying, and more so if it’s a high-ticket coaching program.

I want to address this question on the podcast today: are high-ticket coaching programs a scam? There is no doubt that scams exist in every profession. And there are bad coaches, just like there are bad doctors. But does that mean coaching as a whole is a scam? Well, I’ve got a bunch of reasons for why it’s definitely not.

Tune in this week to discover why coaching is not a scam, even the big-ticket high-cost courses and packages. I’m sharing why these big-ticket programs are the perfect environment for some people to achieve their goals, some of the clients who have thrived in the EntreMD Business School, and my own experience of showing up for an expensive program, only to find out it’s not really what I needed, and how I dealt with that situation.

If you need help either discovering your zone of genius or figuring out how to present it to the world, you need to join the EntreMD Business School. Enrollment is closed for now but you can join the waitlist for the grand reopening and in the meantime, listen and apply what I’m sharing on the podcast. 

If you loved this episode of The EntreMD Podcast, I invite you to join my signature subscription program EntreMD On Demand, giving you access to a library of business courses designed to help you thrive as a physician entrepreneur! 

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why, if you are someone who wants to go somewhere, you need to embrace coaching.
  • Where to look to see that coaching is nothing new.
  • Why so many people thrive in these high-ticket coaching programs.
  • How you can tell if a high-ticket coaching program is a scam, or if it’s a great deal.
  • The attitude you have to show up with to a coaching program in order to get the highest return on your investment.
  • Why the EntreMD Business School, in my mind, is neither high-ticket nor a scam.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:


Full Episode Transcript:

Hi docs, welcome to The EntreMD Podcast, where it’s all about helping amazing physicians just like you embrace entrepreneurship so you can have the freedom to live life and practice medicine on your terms. I’m your host, Dr. Una.

Well, hello, hello. Welcome back to another episode of The EntreMD Podcast. This is going to be a lot of fun stuff. And you might go like, “Are high ticket coaching programs a scam?” But let me tell you what. It is not infrequent that I would go on a Facebook group and somebody will ask about a coaching program.

And hundreds of people come out and, like, “Everybody’s a coach. Everybody’s trying to be a coach. Everybody’s trying to get money off of people. Isn’t coaching like an MLM scam type of thing? It’s a scam. It’s a scam.”

And I’m going, like, “Okay, maybe we should talk about this.” Maybe we should talk about this. This is going to be fun. And I’m going to lay back and give you examples and pull out stuff. It’s going to be a lot of fun. So, just hop in, whether you think coaching is a scam or not, you are welcome. Come on in, let’s have a conversation this morning, or afternoon, or evening, whenever you’re listening to this.

But I’m going to start off by saying, I will invite you, physician, to look at every other high-performance career. They all have coaches. Coaching is not a new thing. It’s always been there. And we’re just getting our eyes open to see.

There’s no high-performance industry, if you will, where coaches are not used. There is no high-performing basketball player you know that has less than three coaches. None. None at all.

They have someone who helps them with certain parts of their game, other parts of their game, their nutrition, their psychology, all of that stuff. They have coaches.

So, I just want to invite you to embrace it if you are someone who wants to go somewhere. If you’re someone who is thinking about helping a lot of people, if you are someone who’s thinking about changing the world, if you are someone who’s thinking about living out your full potential, if you’re someone who is like, “I’m going to make a difference in this world,” then you should listen.

Everybody else who’s trying to do what you’re doing has a coach. But the real question is, are high ticket coaching programs a scam? And what is high ticket? I don’t know. Some people say $5000 is high ticket, $10,000 is high ticket. And I’m just going to throw out numbers here.

So, someone may think the EntreMD Business School is high ticket. It is, well, for 2021, it was $10,000 a year. And that is probably the cheapest it will ever be really. And the value in it is so crazy, so crazy that I won’t even tell you what the real price of the school is. We’ll get there. But I’ll tell you later.

I have been in coaching programs – you’ve heard me tell my story – that I paid $43,000 for and I do not regret it. I paid $43,000 for 10 months and it was a group program and I do not regret it. It is one of the best investments I’ve ever made.

There are coaching programs that easily go for 50 grand, 100 grand. And human beings are in them and they don’t want to leave them, and there’s a reason why.

So, are they a scam? And the answer is, it depends. I’m going to channel my inner radiology today. Please do not come after me, radiologists. I love you. But you know how you say, “We think this is what it is, but clinical correlation is required.” I’m going to channel my inner radiologist.

But anyway, the answer is, it depends. And I’m going to tell you a few stories, and we can come up with what it depends on and when it’s a scam and when it’s not a scam, or if it’s a scam.

Now, these are all people that have told their stories publicly, and so I’m sharing them. And we’re going to look at what coaching has done for them. So, Dr. Karen Kaufman is an allergist immunologist in Virginia. And she launched her practice in January of 2021, so right smack in the middle of a pandemic.

And in the beginning, she was like, “Can I do this?” and all this stuff. And she decided to join the EntreMD Business School. And that’s what she did. And we created a strategy which she executed brilliantly to create a waiting list for her.

And so, she started off with a waiting list of 350 patients. And before she started, she had 276 of these people scheduled. Imagine starting a practice that way. So, she was in a program, the EntreMD Business School, which might be considered a high-ticket program. It’s not. It really is not. No in my mind.

And she launched with that. So, the question is, did she get out of it more than what she put in it? And the answer is yes. So then, is it a scam? And by the time she hit seven months, I believe it was, she had 1280 patients on her panel, seven months, new practice in a pandemic when thousands of practices are shutting down. And her investment, was that a scam? Or was the return on investment so huge that, oh my goodness, it was a deal? Scam or deal?

And there is Dr. Carolyn Moyers, amazing OBGYN who owns a boutique private practice, not fee for service, DPC, specialty DPC. And she was like, “You know, I listened to the podcast. And they day I started my practice was the same day I signed up for the EntreMD Business School.” And again, strategy, which she executed brilliantly.

So, she started her own podcast, Sky Women Health, started her practice, Sky Women Health and started putting herself out there, got to a place where it was paying for itself and she was only working two half-days a week. She was like, “I can do this.” She quit her job, is doing it full time, just celebrated her first-year anniversary and is being an example of specialty DPC for her specialty. Isn’t that unbelievably beautiful?

Now, she was in a high-ticket program. Now remember, I’m just using this as an example. The EntreMD Business School is not a high-ticket program. It’s so much value for whatever you pay for it.

So, the question becomes, if her return on investment was so huge, then was that a scam or was it a great deal? Was it a scam or was it a great deal?

Dr. Alicia Shelly, she’s been on the podcast, and so has Dr. Carolyn. And we’ll have the links to their episodes in the show notes. So you can check those out. Dr. Alicia Shelly, she is a physician who, for I think she said two years, wanted to start a podcast.

She’s like, “I want to start a podcast.” And she did it. She started her own podcast. She started putting her message out there. She got in the business school. She made a statement I will never forget, “I have moved from researching to doing.”

Can you imagine the life change? “I have moved from researching to doing.” So beautiful. And so, she’s done that. And then, she’s getting ready to launch her first course.

So, the question becomes, if she’s having such a huge return on investment, if she’s getting so much more out of it than what she put into it, then is it a scam or is it a great deal?

And then I had Dr. Rashmi. Dr. Rashmi is amazing. So, Dr. Rashmi, she’s a coach and meditation is her thing. And you may have heard her story during EntreMD Live. And she was launching this group program. She had only put four people in. I think it was two or three days before the launch was supposed to be over.

And she came on a session one night in the EntreMD Business School and I had a guest on that day, Dr. Ali Novitsky, and we were talking about a business mindset manifesto. And she raised her hand, got some live coaching. And she went on. Her target was 10. She filled the group and got one or two extra, right? One or two extra. Confidence through the roof. The group went wild because we saw her get coached. It was so insane.

And I’m going like, that is a huge return on investment. So, the question becomes, was that a scam or a great deal? Like, going from, “I failed at my launch,” to, “I surpassed my target.”

And Dr. Katherine Toomer is amazing. Her thing is wellness. And then weight loss happens to be the ripple effect of what she does. But she’s a family medicine doctor. She’s all about helping people be well, has a fantastic story, overweight, heart failure, the whole nine yards, 20 years ago she lost 60 pounds. She’s kept it off since then. Beautiful story.
And now she helps people do it. And her client stories blow me away because she gets the same type of results for them. Really wild.

And she was initially a private client of mine and then ultimately came into the business school. And oh my word, so she does a TED Talk. She’s had all kinds of crazy wins. We’d need a whole podcast episode to talk about her wins. But she’s had so many crazy wins.

And then most recently, she did a TED Talk. And we had a session, like, so when you started off, you had just started this cash-based practice and all this stuff, did you see TED Talk? And she’s like, “No. But you know what got me ready for the TED Talk though? All those YouTube videos you made me do, all those Facebook lives you made me do. And now when people are like, can you do a video for this, can you speak on this, can you speak on that? I’m like, no big deal.”

And so, if you invest in a program and it brings you to the point where you have a wildly successful practice, you’ve built a stellar team, which she’s done, you’re doing TED Talks, you have all these opportunities that are opening up for you, you have a huge return on investment, the question becomes, is that a scam or is that a great deal? Is it a scam or is it a great deal?

So, when people are like, why does this program cost this much? Is this thing a scam? What do they really do there? I don’t think those are the right questions. The question is, what is the investment? Notice I didn’t say cost. What is the investment? That’s a great question. What is the return on investment? That’s a great question.

How committed am I to this return on investment? That’s a great question. If the return on investment is more than the investment, it’s not a scam. It’s a great deal. Do you see what I’m saying?

So, the question of is it a scam, that is the wrong question. And I know that we may have – and you might go like, “No, but I know some bad coaches out there.” Yeah, and there are bad doctors out there too. We don’t throw away the baby with the bathwater.

Coaching works. There may be bad coaches. But that doesn’t mean coaching doesn’t work. Vaccines may have side effects, that doesn’t mean vaccines are bad. Coaching works. Don’t shortchange yourself. Don’t set yourself up not to get massive results because you kind of believe, all these physicians, they just name themselves coaches and they try to take away our money.

Please don’t look at it that way. It’s not your job to look for the bad coaches. That’s not your job. You look at the program. You look at the investment, you look at the return on investment. You can look at the stories from the program, right? A lot of programs will have stories. You look at the stories from the programs. Then you check your own commitment. Because there is no program that is going to work without you. It doesn’t exist.

I’ll stop here and tell you a story. There is a coaching program that I signed up for. It was $10,000 for I think it was a year-long program. And I don’t know how I missed it, but it was not a program I could necessarily be a part of because it was a coaching program. But what they were doing was they were teaching to use their coaching method, their coaching systems. Like, it was a cookie-cutter kind of thing.

And at this point, I already had the EntreMD Business School. I already know what I’m trying to accomplish and al this stuff. And I’m like, “Wow, I don’t know how I missed that. That’s my bad. But this is not going to work for me because I’m not going to throw away my brand. Like I’m already doing something. I’m not going to do that.”

I just wanted to learn their systems and stuff like that because their way of doing business was really great. So, that’s what I thought. I thought they were going to show us business systems.

Now, I could have done a number of things. And their orientation was a two-day event, a two-day full-day event. I could have said, “Oh I just want a refund back,” and I could have been dramatic and fussed at them and do all those things. I don’t do that.

And I’ll just tell you what I do. I don’t do that. I’m like, that’s my error. That’s me not paying attention. They’re keeping their part of the bargain, which is they’re going to show me this, they’re going to show me this, they’re going to do this two-day event, they’re going to make this available. They’re doing everything they said they would do. I’m the one.

And so, I didn’t ask for a refund. I didn’t do that at all. I didn’t ask for a refund. And the other reason why I didn’t is because I run a business too. And I truthfully believe in seed and harvest. And if I’m a nasty client – and I’m not saying I would have been nasty of I had asked for that, but I still think it was not reasonable.

But anyway, I’m like, if I sew the seed of being a nasty client, I’m going to reap that. I’m going to get a harvest. And the harvest is always bigger than the seed. So, I try to be the kind of client I want to have.

And that may be something for you to borrow too. I try to be the kind of client I want to have. And so, I was not going to do that. So, I didn’t ask for a refund.

So, there’s a reason I’m telling you this story. But I made a decision that my return on investment on this program, even though I can’t really be a part of it, is going to be so high that I didn’t throw away that money. And so, when I went for the two-day program, I went with that attitude.

So, when I got in there, they talked a lot behind the scenes of how they run their business. This is a $100 million company. So, how they run their businesses. And what I learned from them is their business looked like it had five or six different verticals.

But every vertical – they had one main vertical. And every vertical was feeding that vertical. And so, what that means is everything was congruent. Everything was going to one goal. It wasn’t like five things in isolation. And I could see that behind the scenes.

That one thing has made my business so much more profitable because everything in my business is working for one agenda. I get offered so many things, “Oh you can do this, you can do this opportunity, that opportunity>” If it’s not taking me to my overall mission, if I can’t fit it into the overall strategy, it’s so easy for me to say no. Because I know where I’m going and I know what I’m trying to do.

So, shiny object syndrome affects me a whole lot less. I’m a lot more strategic. And I was very strategic before I even went for that. And so, even though I couldn’t utilize the whole program because I’m like, “I’m not going to coach from your coaching sheets. I’m just not going to do that.”

And I still, I suspect, I got a lot more out of it than many people who are showing up all the time. Or maybe they didn’t even show up. I don’t know. But I got a huge return.

So, I didn’t throw away that $10,000. I invested it. Why am I saying that? Because that is the attitude you show up to a program with. Like, “I’m going to get my return on investment. I’m committed to my own success.” You cannot delegate – it’s like peeing. You cannot delegate that. You have to do it. You have to have that commitment to your success.

So, when people come in to the EntreMD Business School, they can come in like, “Oh I heard Dr. Una is amazing. Let’s see how she changes my life.” Or they can come in like, “I heard I’m going to get a lot of tools here. And I heard Dr. Una is amazing. I am going to create X, Y, Z. This is the result I’m going to create. I’m going to get the help I need. I’m going to ask questions when I need to ask them. I’m going to reach out to the group when I need to do it. I’m going to do my work. I’m going to do all this stuff. I’m going to make it happen.”

Now, that’s a match made in heaven because I’m committed to the success of the students in the business school. You’re committed to your success. It’s like, “Oh my goodness.”

There is no program that’s good enough to make up for your lack of commitment. Okay. So, what are the questions to ask?

What is the investment? What is the return on the investment? What are the wins they’ve created for other people? And what is my commitment to my success?

Coaching is not a scam. High-ticket coaching is not a scam. High-ticket coaching programs are not scams. The investment is relative. If I need to pay $100,000 to build a multiple seven-figure business, I am paying $100,000 all day every day. Why? The return on investment is so much bigger than the investment.

So, is it a scam? It depends. It’s either a scam or it’s a great deal. It depends. So, go answer the four questions for yourself, embrace the thought of coaching. This is what all high-achievers, all high-performers do, all of them, that’s what they do.

Now, you could be the person who is comfortable investing in yourself because you’ve looked at the return on investment, you’ve looked at the stories, you looked at your commitment, and you can go like, “I’m going to 10X that. Whatever I’m investing in a program, I’m going to 10X that. The program will quote unquote coast me nothing because I’m going to get so much more out of it than I put into it.”

So, it’s not a scam. It can be. That’s the exception rather than the rule. But the answer is, it depends. Alright, if you’re already in a program of some sort, go recommit to it. If you’re not in a program and you’re evaluating, now you know how to evaluate it.

But what I want you to leave here doing is I want you to make a brand new commitment to your own success. No program will do that. And I can’t wait to celebrate all of our wins because, if you have that commitment, that’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to create win after win after win and I’ll be right here rooting for you.

Alright I’ll see you on the next episode of The EntreMD Podcast.

Hey, if you love listening to The EntreMD Podcast I want to invite you to join EntreMD On Demand. It is my signature subscription program that gives you access to a library of business courses designed to help you do one thing as a physician entrepreneur, and that is to thrive. Just head out to entremd.com/ondemand and I’d love to have you join us. See you on the inside.

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