I have a new rule.

If you invite me to like your facebook page and your facebook page is named after yourself, then I will not like it.

Georges Hubris invites you to like his facebook page Georges Hubris.

Well, Georges, I’m not accepting. What would be the difference between the page and your private profile? Basically you’re just screaming to the world that you want people to like you. Even better: you want strangers to like you. You want people you don’t know to know you, to pay attention to YOU.

That seems to be at the core of the current coaching hype, lots of folks thinking they deserve the spotlight, without having any particular talent for anything.

So they read ten books, watch a shitload of YouTube videos from more succesful talkers (because that’s what they are they are just talkers) and they parrot what they have learned.

If they’re a bit more active they will also write an e-book where they will repeat the ‘wisdom’ they have picked up elsewhere. The whole coaching business becomes a copy of a copy of a copy.

Some of these people had interesting ideas before they got heavily influenced by the coaching craze around them and ran after this bus. Some people just don’t have a plan of their own and run after the next popular and colorful bus to try and catch a piece of the action. Today it’s coaching, yesterday it was posting videos on YouTube, the day before yesterday it was ecological enterpreneurship and tomorrow it will be virtual reality massages or something. Of course, only those who catch the bus first, get the best seats, so they quickly get discouraged, even if they do get a seat on the next bus of a craze.

My generation wants IMPACT.

And they measure this impact by how many likes they get on a wide variety of social media accounts.

Rarely does it occur to anyone that you can’t walk into a grocery store and ask to pay for a loaf of bread with 10 Instagram likes.

They also want to do it ON THEIR OWN.

They don’t want to cooperate. They don’t have the humility to be part of a collective. It needs to be about them. They themselves need to be the driving force, the center stage. Imagine all those bands of the sixties thinking like that. You would have never heard of Mick Jagger or John Lennon or any of those talented big egos, if they hadn’t been able to put their huge raging ego aside, at least for a while, to COOPERATE.

That’s also why those facebook pages are named after themselves. How could you be even more clear about not wanting to include others?

Contrast this with my father in law. He started studying psychology and -serious- coaching at 50. Next year he will get his bachelor degree in psychology and he will continue to get a master degree. He’s deeply fascinated by psychology and helping others. He has a lot of empathy. Over the years I have encouraged him to take on a couple of coaching clients. He even has the right certificates for it. He doesn’t want to. He says he still doesn’t know enough and he’s too afraid of doing harm. That’s an attitude my generation is not bothered with. It never even crosses our mind that we might be causing anyone any harm. We can only think about how to launch our own careers. What a fascinating contrast.

If I have to bet on my aging father-in-law or my raging friends who proclaim themselves to be coaches in all sorts of areas of life, I would bet on my father-in-law. Yes, it’s going to take him an other 5 years before he will ever ‘open up shop’ and start working with clients, but in the long run he will do it, whereas my facebook friends don’t know what they want, and are unwilling to invest ten years of their lives in intense study before they launch themselves as an authoritiy.

To my great surprise a very good friend of mine read a post on this website and decided that he will postpone calling himself a coach. They don’t mean any harm, all these coaches popping up like mushrooms, they are the product of a climate.

A climate of people trying to figure out what to do with their lives, now that clear cut paths are gone. There are less and less good jobs out there, there are hardly any manufacturing jobs left. The wider trend is that our jobs are being outsourced and handed over to robots. Our hands itch to DO something, and so we style ourselves as talkers. As people who can make money by merely talking. It’s a logical reaction in a world where real work is dissapearing. And in which we increasingly find ourselves too good to be doing manual labor or to be content with a teacher’s position, teaching youngsters a language for example.

The irony is that my friend has far more impact as an English teacher than as anything else, yet he doesn’t see it that way. If he would put all of his energy into being an English teacher, ow boy, who knows what that could lead to? Instead he sidetracks himself and wants to have his own talking business. Before he wanted to be a talker, he wanted to be a producer. He wanted to produce all sorts of useful and innovative products, but I suppose that takes so much effort, that, at least in theory, it seems a whole lot easier to be a talker. He could also be a jazz musician on the side of his career as an English teacher. Yet it’s not enough. He’s on the hunt of something bigger.

It’s fantastic that we want to have positive impact on others, but where’s the rush? And how to measure this ‘impact’? And do we really think we can do it alone? We can’t all be Tony Robbins. And do we really need two of those?