Why Personal Experience Isn’t The Best Basis For Teaching Others

10 Nov, 2021 By Bobby Klinck
Why Personal Experience Isn’t The Best Basis For Teaching Others

If you’ve spent time in the online marketing world, you’ve probably heard a lot of people say that they’re teaching or coaching about things that worked for them. 

But is that a good thing? Is personal experience the best qualification for someone to become a coach or teacher?

Experience Isn’t Universally Applicable

The problem with using experience as the basis for considering someone qualified to teach is that what worked for them might not work for other people. 

If you’ve been paying close attention to what a lot of coaches offer, you’ll notice that many of them are offering strategies based on their experience. Unfortunately, they don’t work most of the time.

Just because something worked for me doesn’t mean it will work for you, too. The problem with this is that gurus would say that something worked for them so it will also work for others because it’s a universal thing. They make it look applicable to everyone so there’s no problem teaching it to other people.

Unfortunately, not many people think about this because if they do, they’ll have to admit that they can’t just rely on their experience. They have to do more work like studying or figuring out why it works.

So when someone tells you that they want to teach you something that works for them, you should consider that as a red flag. Remember, what worked for them won’t necessarily work for you, too. If they only know how to do things a certain way and they pass this on to you and it doesn’t work, then you won’t get anything out of your coaching session.

Factors To Consider

Some people who say that they’ll teach you things based on their experience will come up with a certain process or framework that worked for them. For example, I managed to get a lot of leads from email marketing. I will then present a process that worked for me and assume that it will work for you as well. The problem with this is that there’s no way for me to capture all of the factors that helped me succeed in getting all of my leads.

It all boils down to your strength and natural abilities. If someone is great at doing emails, that person has a higher chance of succeeding in email marketing. That individual can’t expect you to achieve the same level of success if you’re not good at emails. 

There are so many ways to help you succeed in your business. It’s not all about sending emails. Having said that, teaching based on personal experience and telling others to use your method won’t cut it. You need to factor in all the other experiences you’ve had in your life to come up with a strategy that will work for you.

Everybody has different problems and different personalities. Some people want things to be perfect first before they act while others just want to start right away without any concern for what may happen next. You’ll have a different coaching style for people who are cautious and a different method for a group of people who are impulsive.

People Have Different Circumstances

Coaches and teachers need to realize that they can’t just tell people what to do based on their personal experience. To be an effective coach, you need to help your students understand how they can decide what to do.

If you’re wondering why you want your coach to teach you other things than what they’ve learned based on their personal experience, the answer is simple. Different things work for different people. As a marketer, you need to build a toolkit of different strategies and methods to see what works for you.

Let’s say your coach won’t teach you how to do webinars because he doesn’t like it. That’s a silly thing to do. They should still teach you that because your circumstances are different. They may not like doing webinars but you may discover that you’re actually good at it and can use it to achieve your goal.

Teaching based only on experience produces a cookie-cutter approach that won’t work for everyone because people have different circumstances.

Remember These When Choosing a Choose

When you’re looking for a coach, you should not simply choose someone who bases their process on their personal experience. You need to find someone who can look at your situation and figure out what you need. 

There’s a common problem today where gurus have become so laser-focused on their particular method and they’re sending a message that their particular thing is the best and you should follow everything they tell you. That’s not how it’s supposed to be.

You need someone to help you determine what strategy you should use, what types of products you should create, and so on. These are the first-level decisions you need to make. Once you’ve done that, you can move on to the next step, which is to look for someone who has done it and can help you make high-level decisions.

Experience isn’t always the best teacher because it’s impossible for a single person to have all the experience based on different circumstances. The best teachers are those who haven’t experienced it all but are willing to admit that they haven’t done this so far but they’ll study it. Or if a coach has already done it, the best ones will say that let me explain why this particular strategy works and why this is a good option for you.

Focus On The Whys

Find someone who is willing to teach you the whys. If you choose a teacher who just wants you to follow the steps they recommend based on their experience, you will have a hard time when these tactics don’t work.

Find a coach or a teacher who is willing to do the work to figure out the whys so they can help you build or make adjustments that will work for your unique circumstances and business.

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Bobby Klinck

Harvard Lawyer and Online Entrepreneur