Non-Existent Client Disorder: What to Do When You Can’t Find Clients

 By Kim Avery, MC, PCC, BCC

Unexplained nausea, a pesky rash, phantom pain—each of these can quickly start my mind rolling down the track of no return.  What if…

What if it’s cancer? The Bubonic plague? A coach-eating bacteria? A biological virus unleashed on Winter Haven, Florida, by a terrorist who was cleverly disguised as the local Girl Scout?

Funny how the mind works, isn’t it? I think my brain’s reasoning (I’m assuming my brain really does have a reasonable side), is that if it can wrap itself around the worst case scenario and live then the real diagnosis will almost seem like good news.

This sad, irrational thinking has been striking new coaches everywhere.

business going away?


A new disease has recently been discovered. It’s highly contagious, excruciatingly painful and ultimately, deadly. 

The symptoms are so common, so ordinary, so seemingly normal you may have it right now and not recognized it for what it is.

The name of this disease?

Non-existent Client Disorder (NCD).


If you have any of the symptoms below, seek treatment immediately.

 Coaches suffering from NCD generally…

  • average three clients or less in their coaching practice
  • find themselves inexplicably lowering their fees in almost every consultation
  • feel paralyzed at the thought of marketing so they sign up for additional training hoping that will solve the problem
  • secretly worry that this coaching thing won’t work and they’ll soon have to get a ‘real’ job

Course of the Disease

This disease commonly attacks coaches in their first year or two of business and if gone undiagnosed can lead to discouragement, doubt and grasping at weird offers on the Internet that they know are too good to be true.

Gone untreated in its final stages the disease leads to this terminal conclusion: “Maybe God didn’t call me to be a coach after all.”

In medical terms, we call that death.

Death of hope. Death of a business. Death to the dream of impacting the world through the power of coaching.


Here’s the bad news. (Doctors always like to start with the bad news, don’t they?) To date, no magic pill has been discovered.

But there is hope for those afflicted with Non-existent Client Disorder. The treatment is radical and the road is hard but when followed complete healing is possible. 


The treatment regimen is a two-step process that should be applied daily for best results. 

1. Get in front of a targeted group of people. If you hope to strengthen and grow your marketing muscles you will have to get out from behind your computer and meet people. And not just anyone and everyone. You will need to find that rare group, commonly called a niche, get to know them and let them get to know you.

2. Tell them how you help them solve the problems they have. Your target market isn’t looking for a coach. They are looking for solutions to their common problems. Working with a coach is probably a better solution than 98-100% of other things out there, but no one has told them that yet. You just need to show them the benefits coaching can bring. 

Rinse and repeat. Daily.


Unfortunately, the majority of coaches won’t seek treatment for NCD (Non-existent Client Disorder) and for them there is no cure.

In some rare instances, a coach may discover that God really did call them into coach training but not a coaching career for mysterious reasons of His own. Thankfully, for them there are no lingering aftereffects—only joy in their new path.

But for you, the wise coach, things can be different. You’ve spotted your disease in its early stages. You’ve identified your symptoms and diagnosed this disorder accurately. 

Granted, the treatment regimen may seem harsh at first, but once begun will quickly work its way into your daily life.

For you, the prognosis is very good. You are wise enough to follow the prescription. And when you do clients will come.

 Congratulations. You and your business are looking healthier already.


Kim Avery, from Kim Avery Coaching, specializes in helping Christian coaches fill their practices with eager clients. Click here to download her FREE ebook Top 10 Marketing Mistakes NOT to Make  and begin turning your marketing around today.





This entry was posted in Coaching Blog and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.